Turkish Police Fire Tear Gas And Rubber Bullets To Stop “Immoral” Istanbul Pride March, 25 Arrested [VIDEO]

Deutsche Welle reports:

Riot police in Istanbul fired tear gas and blocked streets during a march in support of LGBT+ rights, detaining 25 people including prominent AFP photographer Bulent Kilic.

The march participants comprised several civil society groups that gathered under the motto “the street is ours.” Footage and photos of demonstrators showed some being pushed and dragged by riot police on Istiklal Avenue in the heart of the city.

After 100,000 people showed up for a Pride march in 2014, authorities in Istanbul banned Pride events citing public safety concerns. Authorities set up barricades to block the march Saturday ahead of time, claiming the march violates a law against protests that violate public “morality.”

The Washington Post reports:

The latest crackdown came during a withering year for gay and transgender people in Turkey, marked by increasingly strident official discrimination, advocacy groups said. Some of the loudest government denunciations came in February, when officials, including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey’s interior minister, seized on student protests at a prominent Istanbul university to attack LGBTQ individuals.

“There is no such thing as LGBT. This country is national, spiritual and walking toward the future with these values,” Erdogan said during an address to members of his party that month, in comments that drew criticism from the Biden administration.

Earlier this year, the government also withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, a European Union treaty aimed at preventing violence against women, justifying the withdrawal in part by claiming that the agreement was “normalizing” homosexuality.