Istanbul Pride Week 2018 and What You Can Do to Support

As Istanbul Pride Week turns 26 this year, pride volunteers once more call for your support to organize the celebrations through June 25- July 1. Pride Week in Istanbul is organized solely by volunteer effort and crowdsourcing. On the second year of the state of emergency in Turkey and amidst bans against LGBTI+ assemblies and demonstrations, Istanbul Pride Week grows stronger and your support is ever more important for the LGBTI+ community in Turkey. Here is some information on how Pride has been celebrated in Turkey recently and what you can do to support the LGBTI+ community of Turkey.

What’s going on?

Over the last couple of years, Pride March has been taking place amidst police intervention and bans. Last year, both LGBTI+ and Trans Pride Marches in Istanbul were banned by the  governorship, followed by a governorship ban against all LGBTI+ related events in Ankara, which had led to bans in other cities.

Despite the bans and oppression, the LGBTI+ community in Turkey is very much alive and active. The associations continue their work and struggle for equality and freedom for all LGBTI+ individuals in all realms of social life. However, most of their work, including the organization of Pride Week is voluntary and requires financial support.

What is the crowdsourcing for?

The donations gathered by crowdsourcing will be used for the costs of events organized within the scope of Pride Week. These are film screenings, panels, forums and exhibitions. This year’s theme for Pride Week is “boundaries”, the theme will be the guiding concept for these events. You may see detailed information on how this budget will be spent on this link.

What else can I do to support Pride Week in Istanbul?

If you cannot make a donation or if you would like to support Pride Week in other ways, we say: Sharing is caring! You can share the crowdsourcing link on your social media accounts to help Pride volunteers reach more people and raise awareness in your own community. You can also follow the updates through Pride Week’s facebook page and our page. Keep in mind that messages of solidarity are always meaningful and empowering for volunteers and activists,  be it on twitter  or banners in your local Pride celebrations. It’s the thought that counts!

(Photo collage: Natali Arslan)

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