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Turkey Bans Gay Pride March For ‘Security Reason’

The Istanbul governor's office has banned a planned march for gay rights, citing security reasons.

The governor’s office said on June 24 that the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and intersex) Pride march would be banned for the "security of participants and tourists" and "public order."

Turkish LGBTI activists had announced on social media that they would organize a march on June 25 starting from Taksim Square.

The governor's office stated Taksim Square in Istanbul city center was not designated for demonstrations and an appropriate application had not been received.

The office also said various groups had raised "serious reactions" against the march.

The far-right group Alperen Hearths, linked to an ultranationalist political party, threatened last week that they would prevent the planned parade from taking place even if authorities allowed it.

Gay pride parades in Istanbul took place for more than a decade until 2015, when police broke up the march using tear gas and water cannons.

The 2014 Pride March in Istanbul attracted up to 100,000 people, one of largest LGBTI Pride events in the Muslim world.

Homosexuality is not banned in Turkey, but allegations of discrimination against gays have been reported.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP