Thousands of people marched on Sunday (18 September) in what is believed to be the largest anti-LGBTQ+ demonstration Turkey has ever seen.
Protesters in Istanbul held signs with messages such as “protect your family and your generation”, “say no to society without gender”, and “father + mother + baby = family”.
Those in attendance demanded a ban on LGBTQ+ associations and activities, such as Pride – despite parades of this nature not being allowed since 2015.
Kursat Mican, a speaker representing the organisers, claimed to have obtained more than 150,000 signatures demanding new legislation from the country’s government that would see so-called ‘LGBTQ+ propaganda’ banned.
Hatice Muge, a nanny who attended the protest, told AP: “People are here despite the rain for their children, for future generations.
“They should save the family, they should save the children from this filth.”
The demonstration, which was dubbed ‘The Big Family Gathering’, was promoted using a video which showed footage from past Pride marches in Turkey.
It was even included in the public service announcement list of the country’s media watchdog and was met with fierce opposition from LGBTQ+ groups in the region, which called on the governor’s office to take it down and ban the event.