Police in Turkey forcibly dispersed an LGBTIQ Pride Rally that took place in Istanbul on Sunday.
The authorities had refused to issue a permit for the event, citing “protection of public peace, security, general health, and morality.”
Those taking part in the event in Taksim Square said the police fired rubber bullets into the crowd, arrested and beat up a journalist, and detained some 20 other people. Others reported the use of tear gas to disperse the revelers.
Pride marches and rallies have been banned in Turkey since 2014.
Earlier his year, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appointed a new rector to an esteemed Istanbul University, Bogazici University. Students and faculty staff complained over the appointment, which is the first state appointment in decades. They argued he was unqualified and nothing more than a political appointee.
In the protests that followed, the government branded the students as “terrorists” and targeted the university’s LGBTIQ students, calling them instigators of unrest and deviants who violate Turkish values.
“There is no such thing as LGBT. This country is national, spiritual, and walking toward the future with these values,” Erdogan said at the time.
Students had their homes raided and were manhandled by police officers.
Also, this year, Turkey withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, which seeks to protect women and girls from violence and sexual abuse and provides protection to members of the LGBTIQ community.
The government argues that it already has legislation protecting the rights of these categories and that the Convention legitimized the rights of LGBT people.
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