Turkey: Lift Pride bans and allow celebrations to take place
Following a decision by the Governorates of Izmir and Antalya to ban all Pride Week events and with other Turkish cities at risk of facing similar restrictions and imminent bans, Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s Deputy Europe Director said:
“These discriminatory decisions are part of a widening and increasingly worrying suppression of LGBTI rights in Turkey. The same intolerance that has seen the Istanbul Pride March banned since 2015 is spreading across the country, denying LGBTI people the right to celebrate.
These discriminatory decisions are part of a widening and increasingly worrying suppression of LGBTI rights in Turkey
“These events are a vibrant celebration of love, inclusion and diversity and the authorities have no place in applying unlawful and arbitrary bans. We urge the Governorates of Izmir and Antalya to overturn these groundless decisions and call on the Minister of Interior to ensure that all Pride marches across Turkey can take place safely and freely.”
Izmir and Istanbul Pride marches are due to take place on 22 and 30 June followed by a march in Mersin in early July.
On 14 June, the governorate of Izmir banned all Pride events, as did the the governorate of Antalya on 15 June resulting in marches scheduled for 16 June being cancelled.
This is the first Pride season since the lifting of Turkey’s state of emergency in July 2018.
A Pride march organized by students at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara on 10 May 2019 was violently broken up by police.