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Turkish Police Break Up Gay-Pride Rally, Detain German Lawmakers

  • RFE/RL

Turkish police fired tear gas to break up a gay-rights rally in Istanbul on June 26 and detained several activists, including two German lawmakers.

Dozens of activists gathered in Istanbul to mark the annual gay-pride march, despite the fact that organizers had called off the event after Istanbul's governor's office last week announced that it had been banned due to concerns over public order.

They were met by a large deployment of riot police, who fired tear gas to disperse the crowd and reportedly detained more than a dozen activists.

Those detained included German lawmakers Terry Reintke, a member of the European Parliament, and Volker Beck, a member of the Bundestag and an outspoken gay-rights activist.

Both lawmakers said on Twitter that they were released shortly after their detentions.

Turkish police in recent days have repeatedly prevented activists from participating in rallies to support LGBT rights.

With reporting by Reuters, AP, and dpa