Although the gay pride parade has happened in peace for at least 13 years in Istanbul, this year the parade was interrupted by police who fired pepper spray and rubber pellets at thousands when they arrived to march. Parade organizers noted, "The use of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, as an excuse to curtail the freedoms of assembly, demonstration, and speech is a clear violation of rule of law. In taking this illegal decision, the Governor’s Office has thus broken the law." And further stated that police were not wearing helmets with their registration numbers, making identifying those responsible for the assault impossible.
"This is happening after the elections because they realize the power of the LGBTI movement," said transgender activist Ruzgar Buski. "Erdogan's government has lost their power and they know the LGBTI community stands with minorities." Read More
Read the Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week Committee full statement here.