Turkey: Thousands march for gay pride

Queer rights rally in Istanbul, 2008. Photo: Gayistanbul.wordpress.com

The 17th LGBTT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite and transsexual) Pride Week ended with a Pride March in Taksim, central Istanbul, on June 28, Bionet.org said the next day. It said more than 3000 people took part.

Bionet.org said the crowd, gathered around a huge rainbow flag in Taksim Square, were at first prevented from marching by police. The crowd protested the police action, shouting slogans for about an hour.

The police then allowed the crowd to march “without placards or slogans”.

Demonstrators defied police, shouting slogans such as: “Don’t be silent, shout it out, homosexuals exist”; “Barricades for murderers, not for homosexuals”; “Whose morals are ‘general morals’?”; “A different world is possible”; and “Homosexuals will not remain silent”.

Protesters carried placards reading: “We are neither wrong nor alone”; “We are here, get used to it”; “If morals mean oppression and violence, then we are immoral”; and “Find the murderers of Ahmet Yildiz” (referring to the murder of a young gay man).