In Istanbul Sunday, Turkish police arrested hundreds of marchers, protesters and bystanders in and around Taksim Square, where LGBTQ people had gathered to begin a Pride march banned by the local governor.
In shocking video flooding the Internet, police in riot gear corral, beat and detain marchers through the Turkish city’s serpentine streets.
Pride march has been banned every year since 2015.
Yet the brave people of #Istanbul still join the parade despite knowing that they might face excessive force by the police as they have in the past
– Balki Begum Bayhan (@bbbayh) June 26, 2022
Nearly 400 people were arrested and detained overnight.
In one clip, a group of young provocateurs dressed in black can be seen literally pushing their fundamentalist message on LGBTQ members of the community.
A small group of conservative men provoked, insulted participants in today’s Pride march / #OnurY”ur”uy”us”u.
Scenes from Istanbul for @AFP:https://t.co/YcDeqjV6D9
– Diego Cupolo (@DiegoCupolo) June 26, 2022
Kaos GL, one of the largest LGBTQ rights groups in Turkey, said the arrests started prior to the intended 5 p.m. march start. Metro services had been shut down for several hours by authorities in an effort stem the flow of supporters into central Istanbul.
Riot police then began entering bars and other local venues, according to witnesses, arresting people “at random.”
Agence France-Presse reported four busloads of detained protesters were taken away, including the outlet’s chief photographer, B”ulent Kilic.
My photojournalist friend B”ulent Kilic has been taken into police custody while covering the #IstanbulPride. His hands were cuffed behind his back.@Kilicbil Kilicbil pic.twitter.com/sDYNoVe13L #journalismnotcrime
– mehmet demirci (@mehmet_demirci_) June 26, 2022
‘Police attacked Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride March this year as well. (…) LGBTI+s marched to Cihangir by crossing over police attack. 373 LGBTI+ activists were detained and they were released after a night at custody.’ #IstanbulPridehttps://t.co/E7LbKdClHD
– hakan sandal-wilson (@hsandalwilson) June 27, 2022
DISK Basin-Is, a journalist union, said protesters were physically attacked and beaten by police.
Turkish police broke up the crowd gathered for the Pride march in Istanbul, arresting dozens, including journalists. Even before the rally began, riot police raided several bars in the Cihangir district near Taksim and arrested people “at random”https://t.co/ek9ky74kAq
– Alfons L’opez Tena (@alfonslopeztena) June 26, 2022
While authorities attempted to stop anyone filming the arrests, video of the crackdown soon appeared across social media, provoking outrage.
#Turkey, once again the police uses excessive force on the peaceful participants of #IstanbulPride pic.twitter.com/724vsaL2bp
– Eleni Mccallum (@MccallumEleni) June 27, 2022
4/. “The rainbow is not a crime. “Discrimination is a crime!”
A defiant crowd of #Pride marchers have gathered for #IstanbulPride despite another ban. #PrideMonth #Onury”ur”uy”us”u #Pride2022 @Madonna @AOC @PeterTatchell @RuPaul @TheElliotPage @TheEllenShow pic.twitter.com/bmdS9i7AFs
– Stefan Simanowitz (@StefSimanowitz) June 26, 2022
The march was officially banned earlier in the week under Turkey‘s Law on Demonstrations and Public Meetings.
“We have obtained information that between 21 June 2022 (Tuesday) and 23 June 2022 (Thursday) gatherings, press releases, marches, distribution of leaflets, etc are planned to be held within the scope of the 30th ‘Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week,” the governor’s office said in a statement shutting down the event.
The Istanbul LGBTQ+ Pride Week Committee called that decision “illegal,” saying they would use “our rights [to] make the necessary objections.”
“Bring your identity, your labor, your love, your pleasure, your desire, your objection, your resistance and your #rakrakrak.” #pride #onurhaftasi #loveislove #askasktir #rakrakrakgeliyoruz @istanbulpride pic.twitter.com/hIFM9ufp8X
– Jennifer Hattam (@TheTurkishLife) June 26, 2022
Although Pride celebrations have been banned in Istanbul since 2015, large crowds have gathered annually in support of LGBTQ rights.
France24 reported local residents showed solidarity with the protesters, banging pans from their windows and balconies.
“We do not give up,” said Kaos GL, the Turkish LGBTQ rights group. “We are not afraid.”
BREAKING : Turkish police break up Istanbul Pride march, detain dozens including AFP photographer #AFP #Istanbul #T”urkiye pic.twitter.com/0M3VHhL9Lp
– Zaid Ahmd (@realzaidzayn) June 26, 2022
#Turkey: A reporter for Agence France Presse was arrested for defying police orders not to film at Istanbul #Pride, which the authorities had tried to prevent by a banning order and closing the Metro stations.https://t.co/RbmMMPMMzi pic.twitter.com/GeQybB3Hav
– MedyaNews (@medyanews_) June 27, 2022