The 6th Trans Pride Week organized by Istanbul LGBTT Solidarity Association concluded with the Trans Pride Parade at the Istiklal Avenue with the participation of thousands.
Source: Yıldız Tar, “Binler trans onuru için yürüdü: Bize bir yasa lazım!” [“Thousands marched for trans pride: We need a law of our own!”], Kaos GL, 21 June 2015, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=19662
A 60-meter long giant blue-pink trans flag was displayed during the march. The slogans of the crowd who carried rainbow flags included “Trans is Life,” “Gender Identity in the Constitution,” and “We will not be Normalized.” A bilingual Kurdish-Turkish “We need a law of our own” placard was also displayed during the march.
Police barricade against the march
As a result of the police barricade at the Taksim Square, the march started in front of the French Cultural Center. Police did not allow the crowd through Istiklal Avenue, using the [anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist] Allied June Movement [started after the Gezi protests] march as an excuse. After negotiations, the barricade, which was protested with chants of “Police, become prostitutes instead, keep your dignity,” was removed.
Other slogans from the enthusiastic crowd included “we are transvestites, we are here, get used to it,” “so what if we are trannies, we are everywhere, get used to it,” “run Tayyip run, the trans are coming.”
An MP from the HDP attended the march
Erdal Ataş, one of the Istanbul MPs from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), supported the march. Ataş, who was one of the protesters and carried the sign in front of the cortège, was saluted by the crowd with applauds.
The march was attended by trans Syrian war victims and other trans women from the Trans Guesthouse Trans*House. The crowd did not forget about trans inmates, who were saluted with applauds.
Freddie Mercury [played] by the Mephisto Bookstore!
The merchants of the Istiklal Avenue supported the crowd as well. The Mephisto Bookstore hung a trans flag from its balcony and played Freddie Mercury’s “I want to break free” as the crowd marched by. Activists waved back at the bookstore.
“Let Demirören collapse on Tayyip”
When the crowd arrived in front of the Demirören Shopping Center, urban renewal and gentrification projects were protested with slogans like “Let Demirören collapse on Tayyip.”
Beyrut Avşar and Ebru Kırancı from the Istanbul LGBTT Solidarity Association read the press statement in front of the Tunnel on behalf of the Trans Pride Week.
“Impunity in cases of murder and assault is an invitation for more crimes”
The press statement emphasized the increase in hate crimes targeting trans people and stated that “impunity in cases of murder and assault is an invitation for more crimes.” It also demanded that the state protect and guarantee trans individuals’ right to life. It reminded that the equality clause was not amended with language protecting sexual orientation and gender identity and said “we need a law of our own.”
“Criticism against the president, protest against National Security and ISIS”
The statement also said that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been producing a discourse and culture of hatred and thus became the primary party responsible for hate murders against trans people. The National Security Legislation was also protested. The statement also cited the Kobani liberation movement and said “ISIS’s bloody violence that transformed the region into blood bath is another face of the same slaughter.”
The statement concluded saying: “Whether you see us as a group of marginals or a bunch of perverts, we are here with all the colors of the society. We need a law of our own against hate murders, othering, and neglect.”