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Gay Rights Groups March in Istanbul Pride Parade In Spite of Ban

Middle East Eye - Istanbul, Turkey, 7/1/2018

Gay rights groups and activists pressed ahead with the Istanbul Pride parade on July 1, 2018, despite authorities banning the event for the fourth year in a row. About 1,000 people gathered near the city's famous Istiklal Avenue and Taksim Square where organisers had wanted to originally hold the parade. The activists unfolded a large rainbow flag while a media statement was read out amid heavy security in the area. Police then warned activists to disperse and used rubber bullets against some who tried to access Istiklal Avenue. Although homosexuality is legal in Turkey, LGBTQ individuals frequently face abuse and harassment (like in this parade), and civil liberties for the community have become a particular concern.

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