Turkish police fire tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse LGBT+ Pride marchers

Police attempt to disperse crowds gathering at a banned Pride march in Istanbul


Turkish police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at supporters of a Pride march in central Istanbul in an attempt to disperse those taking part.

According to local press, at least 25 people - including a photojournalist - were detained at the event, which has been banned since 2015.

This year, local authorities said they had stopped the parade due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Despite the ban, crowds take to the streets every year in solidarity, with hundreds of people attending the march on Saturday (June 26).

Videos on social media show scores of riot police, with many firing rubber bullets and tear gas and pride-goers.

The actions of police in Istanbul have been condemned by activists.

On Twitter, İstanbul LGBTİ+ Onur Haftası said: "A total of 47 of our friends were detained in the police attacks on our 19th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Parade that we held yesterday.

"Some of our detained friends were also beaten. All of our detained friends were released on the same day.

"We will follow the processes with our lawyers. Get well soon to all those detained and subjected to violence."

Pride is celebrated in June to signify the Stonewall Uprising in 1969, which changed gay rights for people across America and the rest of the world.

Pandemic concerns forced cancellations of Pride events in Lisbon and postponement of London’s usually heavily attended event.