Turkish authorities attacked LGBTQ+ activists with tear gas during Istanbul’s Pride parade on Saturday (26 June).
During the Pride march, riot police descended upon the crowd and assaulted Pride goers with tear gas, rubber bullets and physical force.
The violent incident spawned from Ali Yerlikaya, the governor of Istanbul, refusing to approve a permit for the parade.
According to a local media report, at least 20 people were arrested during the police attack.
Shortly after the Pride parade ended, people who attended the LGBTQ+ celebration took to Twitter to showcase their resilience.
One user wrote: “Yes the police violently antagonised the Istanbul pride march today and yes I still looked good and made out w a random cutie in a stairwell. We exist.”
Turkish police fired rubber bullets and tear gas at people marching at #IstanbulPride yesterday. Many were injured and at least 20 were detained. Solidarity with every one of those heroic activists #Pride pic.twitter.com/Rk6XkCxVYv
— Tom Knight (@TJ_Knight) June 27, 2021
Earlier this week, a similar incident occurred when police raided a vegan Pride picnic at Istanbul’s Maçka Park.
In a statement from the Progressive Lawyers Association, authorities broke up the gathering with dogs and excessive force.
The Istanbul Pride Committee took to Twitter to open up about the incident with an accompanying video.
Police attacked the vegan picnic we held in Maçka today. One of our friends was arrested, many of our friends were beaten. We will not be silenced, we are not afraid, we won’t obey!
— İstanbul LGBTİ+ Onur Haftası (@istanbulpride) June 22, 2021
“Police attacked the vegan picnic we held in Maçka today. One of our friends was arrested, many of our friends were beaten. We will not be silenced, we are not afraid, we won’t obey,” they wrote.
Although homosexuality is legal in Turkey, the LGBTQ+ community is constantly faced with pushback from the Turkish government.
LGBTQ+ gatherings like Pride marches and the Queer Olympix have been banned in the country for the last few years due to “social sensitivities.”
Back in February, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that “there was no such thing as LGBT” while referring to the country as “national” and “spiritual.