Turkish police arrest around 200 people during Istanbul LGBTQIA+ Pride March

The event was officially banned by the city’s governor, but hundreds of rainbow-flagged protesters began to gather in the streets adjacent to the famous Taksim Square.

Kemal Aslan/AFPA demonstrator, apparently female, with a rainbow flag strapped to her back, faces police officers on a street in Istanbul
According to an NGO, police arrested protesters and journalists at random

The LGBTQIA+ Pride March this Sunday, 26, in Istanbul was seen as in other years violently harassed by Turkish police, who arrested around 200 people, including a photographer, according to NGOs. Even before the start of the demonstration, riot police raided several bars in the Cihangir neighborhood around Taksim Square, “randomly” arresting people, including journalists and activists. LGBTQIA+. According to the count made by the organizers of the march, about 200 people were arrested. As night fell, they began to be released.

The NGO Kaos GL, which fights for the protection of LGBTQIA+ people, had earlier indicated on Twitter that more than 150 participants of the march had been arrested in Istanbul. Amnesty International called for the “immediate unconditional release” of the detainees. The LGBTQIA+ Pride March was officially banned by the city’s governor, Ali Yerlikaya, but hundreds of rainbow-flagged protesters began to gather in the streets adjacent to the famous Taksim Square, completely closed to the public. Screaming “The future is ‘queer’”, “You will never be alone” or “Here we are, we are ‘queer’, we’re not going anywhere”, the protesters paraded for just over an hour through the streets of the Cihangir neighborhood. Many residents gave signs of support from the windows. The detainees were transferred in two police buses to the city’s main police station.

*With information from AFP

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