Turkish police intervene in demonstration against ban on Istanbul Pride march

Turkish police on Sunday intervened on a group gathered in Istanbul to protest the ban against the city’s Pride march, independent news site T24 reported.

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets on a group gathered in İstanbul’s Taksim district to protest the ban against the 17th lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) Pride March scheduled for June 30 as they prepared to release an official statement, it said.

Turkish authorities have banned the annual pride march for LGBTI rights in Istanbul for the fifth year in a row. The Istanbul governor's office has banned the march in central Taksim district, where it has traditionally been held, as well as a square designated for demonstrations west of Turkey’s largest city.

The city’s last pride march in 2014 saw attendance from up to 100,000 people; however, police have blocked such marches since.

The ban is also in effect in numerous other locations in Turkey, including the southern provinces of Antalya and Mersin.

Amnesty International has called on Turkey this week to lift the "arbitrary ban." It said authorities rejected all suggested locations in the city by deeming the LGBTI community "socially objectionable."  

U.S. rights watchdog Amnesty International has urged Turkish authorities to allow Istanbul’s LGBTI community to hold their annual pride parade later this month, calling on supporters to email Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya demanding that Istanbul Pride be held safely and without restriction. 

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