Istanbul Pride Week

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:


Istanbul Pride Week Art Exhibition: “Who Would Have Thought/ Nerdeen Nereye”

“Pride and Outbreak” was the first Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week exhibition and was held in 2009 for the remembrance of 40th anniversary of “Stonewall Riots” at Hafriyat.

A year later, in 2010, following the theme of Pride Week, an exhibition was curated with the “Family” concept. The exhibition examined the concept of Family and tried to widen the interpretations that were given to the idea of family.

“Body, Pleasure, Pressure” was the exhibition in 2012 at Cezayir. The exhibition questioned the mass understanding of body and it’s politics.

“Who would have thought” was organized by Metin Akdemir and Efe Songun in 2014 at HAYAKA ARTI and maumau. The exhibition selection committee was composed of Fatih Özgüven, Canan X, Erinç Seymen, and Asena Günal. The exhibition was held between June 24-30, alongside the 22nd Pride week events.


Efe Songun and Metin Akdemir

The exhibition committee stressed that “Who would have thought” be a sustainable project and to be organized alongside the Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week activities and to be able to promote LGBTIQ art and artist, along with allies.

The exhibition will be held on June 22-30th at maumau and Blok Art Space. The Selection Committee was composed of Taner Ceylan, Fatih Özgüven, Canan X, Asena Günal, İlhan Sayın, and Aslı Çetinkaya.

The 2015 “Who would have thought” has not specified a theme and was held open to everyone’s contribution.

The artists this year are: Mandy Niewohner, MK Yurttaş, Kara Pembe Karşı Sanat Kolektifi, Anıl Erdoğan, Şafak Şule Kemancı, Marin Marie, Seçkin Tercan, Ömer Tevfik Erten, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu, Hüseyin Rüstemoğlu, Hülya Dolaş, Esra İlbeyli, Sadık Arı, Kemal Özen, Elif KK, Kıvanç Öztüre.

For more information, please see:

IMG_2549 IMG_2567 IMG_2581 IMG_2584

Posted in LGBTI Activism, Pride in Turkey and tagged Anıl Erdoğan, Ömer Tevfik Erten, Blok art space, Efe Songun, Elif KK, Esra İlbeyli, Hülya Dolaş, Hüseyin Rüstemoğlu, Istanbul Pride Art Exhibition, , Kara Pembe Karşı Sanat Kolektifi, Kemal Özen, Kıvanç Öztüre, Leman Sevda Darıcıoğlu, Mandy Niewohner, Marin Marie, maumau, Metin Akdemir, MK Yurttaş, Nerdeen Nereye, Sadık Arı, Seçkin Tercan, Who would have thought, Şafak Şule Kemancı on by . Leave a comment

Istanbul Pride Week 2015 Event Schedule

(In case you would like to print this page, please refer to this PDF version.)

(Did you know that Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week has accounts on Facebook or Twitter?)

Table of Contents


Istanbul Pride Week Calls for Your Support!

Source: “İstanbul Onur Haftası Desteklerinizi Bekliyor!” (“Istanbul Pride Week Calls for Your Support!”), 27 May 2014,

The 22nd Istanbul LGBTI Pride March will take place on Sunday, 29 June 2014. LGBTI Pride Week calls for your support to fund the march and Pride Week events through this indiegogo campaign.


Turkish daily newspaper Hürriyet columnist Ayşe Arman spoke with Görkem Ulumeriç from the LGBTI Pride Week committee about this year’s Pride Week:

Who is organizing Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week?

A crowded group of volunteers. It includes LGBTI organizations, members of the media, lawyers, academics, teachers, bankers, university students, artists, and sex workers. It’s an unbelievably colorful and big family. It grows constantly with the support of LGBTIs from all over Turkey, from Izmir to Mardin. Pride Week is the time when LGBTI people’s struggle for rights and demands are put on the agenda.

Who attends the week?

Everyone who thinks “We can transform the world into a better place together, and I can contribute to this!” Our motto has been: “If you are not here with us, we are one too few” for years. We have changed it and we now say: “If you are not here with us, we are so too few.” The efforts of LGBTI people are never enough and this is the case all over the world. If we imagine a shared world that respects all identities, without discrimination based on language, religion, race, sexual orientation or gender identity, we will succeed through everyone’s efforts.


Open Call for 5th Pride Week Exhibition

Seçil Epik, “Ay Resmen Açık Çağrı (Ay, Open Call, Officially!), TimeOut Istanbul, April 2014,

As we count down to the 22nd Pride Week festivities, we received an invitation for an exhibition. For  this year’s Pride Week exhibition, first held in 2009,  the title  “Who Would Have Thought” and a concept of multiple exhibits on a particular parade route have been considered.  Seçil Epik spoke with Metin Akdemir and Efe Songun of the exhibition committee about the open invitation and the details of the exhibition.

Before we come to the 5th Pride Week Exhibition, shall we recall  the ones in the previous years?

Metin Akdemir:  The first exhibition was “Uprising and Pride” held in 2009 at Hafriyat to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. As you know, the Stonewall Riots, which broke out following a police raid in New York of a bar called Stonewall Inn, are viewed as the beginning of the open resistance of the LGBT movement. In the exhibition held in 2010,  the theme was “Family” and the works displayed examined and sought to expand the narrow meaning of the concept of Family. The title of the 2012 exhibition was “Oppression, Pleasure and the Body” and it was held in Cezayir. In this exhibition, works on display were concerned with the politics of the body which the system imposes on us.

Last year the Pride Week theme was “Resistance” and it was also influenced by the Gezi events. This year the theme has been decided as “the Big Explosion”.  We are announcing the title here for the first time. How did this title emerge?

MA:  It emerged with the question of “What did the LGBTI movement experience in the past and how, at this point, does it look to the future?” We thought this is the right time to explore this question. What will be the number of people in the parade which had reached 50,000 last year? Has the LGBT movement’s visibility really increased or is it a simulation? Does homophobia in society still exist? Has there really been a big explosion? We want to see all these.