Press statement

Statement from the Governorate Concerning the Attack on Pride Parade

The Istanbul Governorate stated that the police intervened on the Pride Parade due to the possibility of provocation. No problems were experienced during the event until the police attack

Source: Kaos GL, “Valilik’ten Onur Yürüyüşü’ne Saldırı Açıklaması”, (“Statement from the Governorate Concerning the Attack on Pride Parade”), 29 June 2015,

After the intense police attack on the Pride Parade, the Istanbul Governorate published their first statement. The Governorate, which could not be reached throughout the day, claimed that “there was no serious physical injury which needed medical attention in our health facilities as a result of the incidents.”

The police attack on the Pride Parade, which has taken place peacefully for the past 12 years, was explained with the possibility of a “provocation”.

The full text of the Governorate’s statement is as follows:

“Upon intelligence from the social media and the press organs on 28 June 2015 that some groups will be organizing a march and a protest on Istiklal Avenue and Taksim Square under the name of LGBT Pride Parade and that some groups may react to this, necessary security precautions have been taken in the aforementioned places.

For the reason that there was no application nor prior notice to our governorate concerning the march and that it was open to provocations, the groups that gathered were warned. However, the protest continued and the groups were dispersed by our security forces within the responsibility assigned to us by the law and by paying attention to the principle of proportionality [of police force -Trans.].

After the dispersal of protesting groups, everyday life has returned back to normal at both Taksim Square, Istiklal Avenue and the side streets.

There were no serious physical injuries that would have needed the dispatch of our health facilities as a result of the incidents.


Update 29 June 2015: Link added to the minute-by-minute report.

Press Statement for Istanbul 2015 LGBTI Pride March

Greetings to all those who have embraced our path as their path, our struggle as their struggle!

The 2015 Istanbul LGBTI Pride March has been banned at the last minute and without prior notice by the Istanbul Governorship on account of Ramadan.

The police have attacked the participants, which was expected to be approximately 100,000 people, with pepper gas, rubber bullets and TOMAs [militarized police vehicles commonly deployed against civilian activists and protesters -Trans.].

With our self-respect at stake, we resisted. We resisted with our dances, our songs and our love!

Love will win!

We want to share with you the press statement that we would have shared if the attacks had not occurred:


LGBTI refugees constitute the most invisible group

The Lambdaistanbul LGBTI Refugee Commission has released a written statement for the June 20th Refugees Day. The Commission, which listed the problems experienced by LGBTI refugees in Turkey and shared their demands, said that “LGBTI immigrants and refugees constitute the most invisible and disadvantaged group.”

syria-refugees-no-one-is-illegal (more…)

The Press Statement by Sehitlik Mosque in Berlin

Source: “Basın Açıklaması” (“Press Statement”), Sehitlik Mosque, November 2014,

Similar to our other Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) mosques, we at the DITIB-Sehitlik Mosque have been providing Mosque Guidance services since 2004 without interruption and will continue to do so. As per our religious beliefs, we open our doors and create an environment of introduction and enlightenment to everyone who comes to visit our Mosque to learn about our Islam Religion and Culture, regardless of their religion, language, race, and color. We provide appointments to groups with 7 or more participants. In this way, we host on average about 30 thousand visitors per year.

Leadership Berlin foundation, which organizes courses on politics, economics, and so on, requested from us a visitation reservation for 24 November 2014. We had previously partnered and collaborated with the above-mentioned institution to fight against anti-Islamism. We responded positively to their appointment request because we knew them and there was no additional invitation that was send out by the DITIB Sehitlik Mosque.

However, it was not our goal to legitimize any concept that is sinful according to our religion, nor to provide a platform to any of their sub-organizations or their partners when we confirmed the visitation request by Leadership Berlin. It has disturbed the DITIB Sehitlik Mosque and its community greatly that the media projected the issue as if it were a result sourced in us or an invitation sent out by us.

We have decided to rescind our confirmation for the 24 November 2014 appointment in order to avoid playing into the hands of such abuse. Furthermore, we believe that it will indubitably contribute to our collective living that we do not provide this [guidance] service at this date in order to prevent any possible provocations against this innocent enlightenment and guidance service as a result of conflated and intricate news reporting abuse.

We hereby inform the public that the doors of our Mosque continue to be open to any and all visitors who wish to get acquainted with our religion and culture.

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

[click for the Sehitlik Mosque Press Statement in PDF format]