Istanbul police have attacked 100,000 participants of the city’s 2015 LGBTI Pride March with pepper gas, rubber bullets and militarized police vehicles commonly deployed in Istanbul against civilian activist and protesters.
The pride march was banned at the last minute and without prior notice by Istanbul governor Vasip Sahin. The governor said the pride march should be stop because it falls in the week of Ramadan. However, gay rights activists believed this was just an excuse. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision on June 26 that now allows same-sex marriage, the Istanbul government is said to be threatened by the power that the LGBT community in Istanbul can posses.
LGBTI proceeds with the parade
All participants of the Pride Parade remained at Beyoglu with the goal of reaching to Taksim despite ban from the government. Those who cannot join the parade were encouraged to make noise with pots and pans or whatever they can make noise with.
However, police attacked the parade.
“Today, over 100,000 people gathered to scream the demands of Freedom and Equality at the 23rd Pride March,” LGBTI said in a statement.
“We as lesbians, gays, bisexuals, trans and intersex people gathered to say GET USED TO IT! WE ARE HERE! WE AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE without taking back our basic rights to live, to shelter, work, education and health; We are here to live without being disdained or disapproved for existing, without being hurt and without being oppressed,” the statement said.
Trans are being killed in Istanbul
In celebration of Gay Pride, the LGBTI released a statement condemning the murder of 49 trans in the past two years. The statement said 70 trans women were already killed since 2002.
The group cited the case of Seda, a trans woman beaten to death and thrown in the mosque garden. Her killer was sentenced to life imprisonment but it was decreased to 15 years with the possibility of parole in eight as Seda was a trans individual.
“There are thousands of trans women in these lands, who lose their lives due to this systematic violence of the state. This is because the state pushes violence, discrimination, racism, othering, cruelty and overbearance as a way of life,” LGBTI said in a separate statement.
Seda’s death was not the first murder of trans individuals and “unfortunately will not be the last,” the statement reads.
“As we have been saying for years on the streets, in squares and in front of the barricades, trans murders are systematic and political. The state continues to leave the door ajar for the massacre of trans individuals by the compromises and encouragement provided to all killers. It looks as if the state points to trans individuals as free targets for everyone to vent their stress against.”
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