Turkish Police have used tear gas and Police dogs on participants in the annual Istanbul Pride march, in an attempt to disperse the officially banned event.
The Istanbul Pride march, which has been banned by the Istanbul Governor’s Office since 2016, after authorities cited “security” and “safety concerns” following the 2014 march in which over 100,000 people took part.
While homosexuality is not illegal in Turkey, over the years Police have used a number of tactics to disrupt the event, including Police dogs, tear gas, and notably a water cannon in 2015.
Despite the ban being in place, organisers of the event which has been held in the nation’s capital since 2003, decided to march in a square in Istanbul (which was specifically designated for demonstrations).
While local Police initially allowed the group to make a brief statement to the media, authorities then proceeded to block the street, before turning tear gas and dogs on the marchers to disperse them.
In response to the reports, Amnesty International has called on Turkey to end its “arbitrary ban” on the Pride event.