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26 Jun 2017

Istanbul: Police thwart Gay Pride protest

Istanbul Gay Pride protest: Police fires rubber bullets

With 'We are not scared' chants, LGBT protesters in Istanbul were seen fighting the police who fired rubber bullets at the activists who had gathered at the Takshim Square to hold their annual Gay Pride parade.

The Turkish police tried to disperse off the crowd as the parade had been banned officially.

It is the third year when this parade has been banned.

In context

Istanbul Gay Pride protest: Police fires rubber bullets
Protesters oppose the ban

Confrontation

Protesters oppose the ban

The Istanbul Gay Pride Committee read out a statement that they weren't scared and they wouldn't change. The activists made it clear that it is the Istanbul Govt. which required to change their approach and accept the parade with open arms and till that time they would wait.

The organizers denounced the ban and stated that they were determined to fight back.

2014-2017

A close look at the timeline

In 2014, the LGBT parade drew tens of thousands of people supporting the cause.

In the year 2015, the police dispersed the crowd by firing tear gas and water cannons.

Last year saw the Turkish state in hysteria because of bombings by Kurdish militants who didn't allow LGBT protesters to carry the rally.

This year, parade was banned after threats from conservative groups.

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Who is to be blamed for harassment of LGBT community?

The question

Who is to be blamed for harassment of LGBT community?

Is the Government to be blamed? There's the question. Critics and activists repeatedly point a finger at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his rigidness and letting Islamisation take over the Turkish state.

The activists say that his government's constant conservative remarks over sex and family planning is outrageous and have thereby stirred agitation.

Context

'Homosexuality' is legal in Turkey

If homosexuality is legal in Turkey, then what's the brouhaha about? One fails to understand this but the grim truth remains that gay people in Turkey regularly face abuse and harassment. One of the activists even stated that government official went on to rant how homosexuality is a biological disorder.

The underlying context is while homosexuality is legal, homophobia is widespread.

Turkey's image under threat

Conclusion

Turkey's image under threat

Turkey represented a liberal image where it was described as a haven for LGBT community but now that picture seems to be under threat; threat of Islamisation and radicalization.

Over the past three years, this picture of a secular and liberal Turkey has been marred by its regressive attitude and approach of the government towards the Gay community.

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