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Istanbul bans LGBT pride march for second year

A LGBT member stands in front of a banner with make up on her face and a writing on her body

A LGBT member stands in front of a banner with make up on her face and a writing on her body "I want to live" on August 21, 2016 in Istanbul during a demonstration for the murdering of a transgender activist Hande Kader, a 22-year-old transgender who was mutilated, burnt and murdered in Istanbul on last week.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Istanbul's governor has banned a gay and transgender pride march which was due to take place in the city on Sunday, citing security concerns after threats from an ultra-nationalist group.

It will be the second year running that Istanbul's LGBT march, described in the past as the biggest in the Muslim world, has been blocked by city authorities.

The ultra-nationalist Alperen Hearths group threatened last week to prevent the march if authorities did not act, and the governor's office said on Saturday that it took its decision out of concern for the security of marchers, tourists and residents.

The organisers of the march said they would discuss their response later on Saturday.

The gay pride parade in Istanbul - a city seen as a relative safe haven by members of the gay community from elsewhere in the Middle East, including refugees from Syria and Iraq - has usually been a peaceful event.

But two years ago police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse participants, after organisers said they had been refused permission because it coincided with the holy month of Ramadan.

While homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey unlike many other Muslim countries, homophobia remains widespread. Critics say President Tayyip Erdogan and his AK Party, which ir\s rooted in puritanical Islam, have shown little interest in expanding rights for minorities, gays and women, and are intolerant of dissent.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 7:55:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/istanbul-bans-lgbt-pride-march-for-second-year/article19141056.ece

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