Turkish police fire tear gas at crowds gathered for banned Istanbul Pride march

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06/30/2019

Police in Turkey used tear gas to break up a banned Pride rally calling for rights for gay and transgender people. Several hundred activists had gathered in Istanbul, cheering and waved rainbow flags, intending to march through the streets from the central Taksim district. Turkish authorities had banned the event for the fifth year running, even though Amnesty International had urged them to lift the “arbitrary ban”. Police with dogs allowed rally leaders to make a short statement to the media before officers dispersed the crowd with tear gas, blocking the street. Istanbul Pride organisers said they would continue to fight to get sexual orientation and gender identity recognised in Turkish laws. Amnesty said the authorities had rejected all suggested locations for the rally by deeming the LGBT+ community “societally objectionable”.

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