113 LGBTQ activists were apprehended by law enforcement in Turkey as they sought to raise awareness for Pride Month despite the prohibition on such gatherings.
The scheduled Pride Month parade for 2023 was planned to take place in Istanbul and Izmir provinces on Sunday; however, the streets were barricaded, preventing the community and journalists from assembling as ordered by the police.
On Sunday, LGBTQ activists congregated at Mistik Park in the Sisli district after the police obstructed the route leading to Istiklal Avenue and Taksim Square in Istanbul, where LGBTQ individuals typically gather for the annual event. While voicing slogans and displaying the LGBTQ community flag, the Pride Month awareness campaign organizers in Turkey affirmed their commitment to promoting acceptance.
Meanwhile, Istanbul Governor Davut Gul stated, “Preserving the family institution with our national and moral values is vital for our national future. We will not tolerate any activity that undermines the family institution.”
According to a Human Rights report from 2022, LGBTQ individuals in Turkey have faced discrimination, intimidation, and acts of violence. President Tayyip Erdoğan has proclaimed that the LGBTQ community will never be allowed in the country, citing the sanctity of the family.
In 2021, the Turkish government withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, a human rights treaty established by the Council of Europe, which served as a legal framework for combating violence against women, including lesbian, bisexual, trans women, and intersex individuals.