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26 Jun, 2023 01:58

Dozens detained at LGBTQ event in Türkiye

Police took action against activists who attended a banned pride parade in Istanbul
Dozens detained at LGBTQ event in Türkiye

More than 100 people were detained at an LGBTQ pride parade in Türkiye’s largest city on Sunday, Istanbul Governor Davut Gul said. Activists took to the streets despite an official ban.

“Our national future depends on keeping the institution of family alive with our national and moral values,” Gul wrote on Twitter, vowing not to allow “any activity that will weaken the institution of family.” 

“The 113 people who participated with the goal of spreading [LGBTQ] propaganda have been detained,” the governor added.

On Sunday, police blocked all streets leading to Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul’s historic district and to Taksim Square. Services along several lines of the Istanbul Metro were suspended for several hours, according to newspaper Cumhuriyet. 

The organizers of the event have condemned the crackdown. “We reject this politics of hatred and denial. Despite all the prohibitions, criminalizations, pressures, and attempts to suppress us, we will continue to advocate for a humane life for everyone and persist in democratic living,” the Istanbul Pride Parade Committee said in a statement.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was re-elected last month, has championed social conservatism and described his main rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu as “an LGBT person.” In his victory speech, Erdogan blasted those seeking to “normalize homosexuality.”

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