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Police Prevent Istanbul Gay-Pride March


Police in the Turkish city of Istanbul have thwarted attempts by activists to hold a banned gay-pride march.

Organizers of the annual LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and intersex) pride march had vowed to march in central Taksim Square despite the ban on gay-pride observances ordered by the Istanbul governor's office, citing security concerns after threats from an ultranationalist group.

Police prevented groups from entering Istiklal Avenue, where organizers had planned to hold the rally.

Small groups assembled on side streets. Some were chased by officers.

Police fired rubber bullets to disperse one grou, and detained several people, activists and witnesses said.

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 the largest LGBTI pride events in the Muslim world.

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

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters and AFP
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