The 30th LGBTIA+ Pride Week events held at 20 June – 26 June 2022 were celebrated with the gathering of thousands of LGBTI+ and many militants who resisted in Istanbul despite all the obstacles of the police. The slogan of this year’s Pride Week was “Resistance”. In keeping with the theme, “resistance” was everywhere.
By Nihan Drama
Before the Pride Parade the police tried to prevent interviews, presentations and panels where the hardships and united struggle of LGBTI+s were discussed. The venues where Pride Week events were planned to be held were raided and threatened by showing the ban issued by the District Governor’s Office.
Despite the bans and obstacles, the LGBTI+ committee carried out all the activities. Social media accounts also shared news about the places where they gathered despite the bans. The 20th Pride Parade held in Istanbul on Sunday, June 26 brought together thousands of LGBTI+s once again. The police did not allow the march and made harsh interventions in different parts of Istanbul and in many different cities.
As a result of the police intervention, 373 people (34 of them were less than 16 years old), were detained. Lawyer follow-up of the detainees was possible in more than 24 hours. Many activists who were detained with reverse handcuffs were subjected to physical violence. Journalists and photographers were beaten and detained.
The march was to take place on Istiklal Street, but the police closed all roads and public transportation vehicles leading to the main street in the early hours of the morning. Hundreds of people gathered in Sıraselviler raised rainbow flags against the police state’s prohibitions and violence.
The Pride Parade, the first of which was held in 2003, was banned in Turkey after 2014. In the years before the ban began, the Erdogan government declared its support for the Pride Parade and even bragged about it. We have seen in many different examples (as the Kurds) that the AKP government pretended to be on the side of the oppressed in order to increase its sovereignty. None of the promises made by the government to the oppressed have been kept and LGBTI+ hostility and attacks have reached their highest levels in recent years.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu made social media posts that he called “perverted” LGBTI+ individuals. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made statements that personally targeted LGBTI+s. As the united power of LGBTI+ grows every year and makes a sound all over the world, it has become a movement feared by the government.
The AKP continues its attacks by making propaganda on issues such as deviance and threatening the Turkish family structure, making the living space of LGBTI+ people smaller and trying to scare them. Thousands of people filled the streets against all the obstacles and once again showed that the LGBTI+ movement cannot be stopped.
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