Pride month

Turkish police fire tear gas to disperse Pride march in Istanbul

Turkish police fire tear gas to disperse Pride march in Istanbul

BANNED. Riot police prevent demonstrators to gather for a Pride parade, which was banned by local authorities, in central in Istanbul, Turkey on June 26, 2021.

Dilara Senkaya/Reuters

Turkish police detains 20 people, according to media reports

Turkish police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd that gathered for a Pride parade in central Istanbul on Saturday, June 26, detaining some of those seeking to take part in an event banned by local authorities.

Reuters TV video showed police in riot gear pushing and dragging people, some waving rainbow flags as they assembled for the event in a side street off the city’s central Istiklal Avenue.

Some 20 people, including a photojournalist, were detained, according to media reports.

Turkish authorities have repeatedly banned Pride events in recent years. Before then, thousands of people used to take part in the parade on Istanbul street.

Turkey has long been a candidate to join the European Union but its accession process has been languishing for years amid tensions over a variety of issues including human rights.

On Thursday, June 24, a majority of European Union leaders vowed to continue combating discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community in a joint letter amid a standoff with Hungary, whose parliament last week approved a bill that bans the distribution of material in schools deemed to promote homosexuality or gender change. –