Istanbul remains proud despite police ban

The last time the Gay Pride Parade was officially allowed in Turkey was 2014. Every year government officials make excuses to ban the parade. Turkey's LGBTI+ communities and allies, however, are not taking no for an answer.

Over the years, we have seen Pride celebrations over summer become bigger, more colourful and LGBTI+ populations become prouder. From Amsterdam to Tel Aviv, cities across the world have been taking to the streets to celebrate love and in most places, the celebrations have been welcomed.

Unfortunately, not all LGBTI+ communities are allowed to express their pride. In 2015, the Istanbul Government banned pride parades due to "security concerns" and any signs of celebration and love were swiftly broken up by the police.


This year, before the march was set to take place, organisers wrote on the official Facebook page:

“This march is organized in order to fight against the violence and discrimination fuelled by that governorship decision. We would like to inform the press and the public that we will go ahead with our prideful march with the same ambition as we had before.”

And with that, July 2nd saw the city’s population not take no for an answer and take to the streets with flags, music, dancing and speeches for around 40 minutes before the area was cleared by police who brutally cleared pride go-ers with tear gas and rubber bullets.


Whilst those in Madrid, Rome, New York and countless other cities all over the world freely celebrate love, those in Turkey have to endure government sanctioned violence to celebrate something we take for granted.

Despite all the hardships, Turkey’s LGBTI+ community remains strong and continues the struggle. If you would like to get involved in helping the LGBTI+ community in Turkey and across the world, support one of the charities below:

  • Kaos GL: This charitable organization focuses on fighting against homophobia, transphobia and sexism through conducting artistic, educational and sporting activities, allowing LGBT individuals to succeed in a framework allowing freedom, justice and peace. 
  •  Lambda Legal: Lambda Legal is a non-profit organization that hopes to achieve the recognition of the civil rights of LGBTI+ and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.
  • Red Umbrella Project: A New York City-based charity that aims to empower sex workers through public education initiatives.

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