Izmir Pride

6th Izmir Pride March: Firmly, with determination and enthusiastically!

Hundreds of people were in Izmir for the sixth Pride March: for our rights and our loves!

Source: Gozde Demirbilek, “6. İzmir Onur Yürüyüşü: İnatla, kararlılıkla ve coşkuyla!”, Kaos GL, June 11, 2018,http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=26000

The sixth Pride March took place yesterday in Izmir with the participation of hundreds of people. LGTBI+ painted the streets of Alsancak with the colors of the rainbow for their rights, their identities and their loves. Flags and emblems of rainbows, bisexual, trans, intersex and asexual [people] were waved at the site.

The march started from the OSYM building the march went on to Kıbrıs Sehitleri Street. The press briefing by the Izmir Pride March Committee took place in front of the Türkan Saylan Cultural Center, just as in previous years.

“Once more and yet again we are marching; firmly, with determination and enthusiastically! We are not marching alone but all together! We will march today in spite of anyone who tries to take away our rights, our freedom, our feelings, our desires, our loves by calling our existence a sin, a crime or an illness. Those who do not fit into norms, those who don’t think they deserve to be loved, those who think there is something wrong with them… Today is the day to be who you are as you were. With this march each of us are beautiful in our uniqueness and even more beautiful together…”

“Don’t be ashamed and sad because you do not fit into gender norms and you do not desire who you are expected to desire! You are not to be blamed; those who hate you are to be blamed! You are not alone, don’t be afraid! Today we are gonna march trembling over fear; we are gonna walk over the pain and march inspire of the violence, the gate and the discrimination and destroy all of them. We are going to walk to a more beautiful world by walking under the rainbow.”

“Dear sister on the street, today we will be the sound of your high-heels. The lubunya (queers) in the suburbs: we will be your flower shirt! Those who are “inside”; we will raise our voice for you outside. Those of you who can’t be with us, we will shout out for what you’ve got piled up inside you. Those of you who are forcibly displaced; Welcome on board, in this march there is a spot for all of you! Those of you who are not with the living, we will shine the light of your souls. For those of you who survived, we will console each other!”

“Those of you who are discriminated against because of their sexual interests and identities; those of you who are discriminated against at school, home or work, in enlistment, camps, prisons… even though you are not with us today, we didn’t forget about you. We recognize each other by our wounds; we will be “you” today and march today; we will become each other’s voice and unite in marching for our rights and freedom.”

“We know how to march on no matter what gets in our way and even if we fall we know how to keep going by holding on to each other, by assisting and embracing one another and by never ever leaving the other alone. We march with pride!”

After the press briefing the march went on to Kordon. The march proceeded enthusiastically and affectionately. After a brief rest the fun continued with the After-Pride Party and Dudakların Cengi.

Despite the Governorate’s Ban, Izmir Holds Pride March

Standing up to Izmir Governorate’s ban, people who stand against homophobia and transphobia marched from Kıbrıs Sehitleri to Kordon in Izmir, protesting the ban.

Source: Yıldız Tar, “Valilik yasağına inat İzmir’de Onur Yürüyüşü”, 4 June 2016, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=21800


The Izmir Governor’s decision to ban Izmir Pride March on the grounds that it “received intelligence that there may be propaganda for terrorist organization” was protested. [Organized over social media] anti-homophobia and transphobia crowds met at 19:00 at Alsancak Kıbrıs Sehitleri Avenue to Kordon seaside.


Police set up barricades against the anti-homophobia and transphobia crowds holding rainbow flags. Police announced “disperse” and the crowd shouted “homophobic state, we’ll topple you of course”. After a short wait, the marchers headed the opposite direction towards Kordon seaside.


More than one hundred people marched and chanted “Love, love, freedom; keep hate far”, “Tayyip run run run, the fags are coming”, “Don’t be silent, shout, there are gays”. They screamed against homophobia and transphobia. They condemned the homophobic ban of the Izmir Governorate.


During the march, there was a sit-in at the shore. Izmir residents were invited to the press conference to be held on 6 June at 11:00 in Konak City Council to condemn the ban on Izmir Pride.


The demonstration to protest the Governorate’s ban using “terror” as its basis found support from businesses around Alsancak and people in the area.

Rainbow Solidarity Network: We Condemn the Governorate, Izmir Pride Cancelled

The Rainbow Solidarity Network made a statement about the ban on the 4th Izmir Pride March. The network announced that the march is cancelled and condemned the Izmir Governorate. The network will hold a press conference on 6 June. 

Source: Kaos GL, “Gökkuşağı Dayanışma Ağı: Valiliği kınıyoruz, İzmir Onur Yürüyüşü iptal”, 3 June 2016, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=21798

The Rainbow Solidarity Network organizing Izmir Pride March made a press statement regarding the ban on the march by the Governorate. The Network condemned the Governorate’s homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic attitude. It announced that the march was cancelled.


The full statement:

Izmir Pride March, which was planned to take place on 4 June at 19:00 for the fourth time, was banned by the Izmir Governorate. Previously, the Ankara Governorate had banned the 17 May International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia march in Ankara organized by Kaos GL.

We condemn the Governorate!

We find these kinds of bans on LGBTIs’ freedom of expression to be unacceptable and condemn the Izmir Governorate’s homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic attitude. Our application for the march was submitted on 23 May and approved by the Governorate and the Police Headquarters. However, the fact that the march was cancelled on the last day, towards the end of working hours and at a time when we wouldn’t have the chance to object, makes this ban illegal. Furthermore, the fact that the ban used expressions such as “propaganda for terrorist organization” and “a march that looks innocent but can cause indignation” when the march has taken place in peace for years is proof that LGBTIs are not seen as equal citizens. The suspicion of terror is the most important repressive argument by oppressive regimes to suppress society. The decision states that the intelligence of “chanting slogans praising illegal terror organizations” was “partially” confirmed. Such a vague, baseless, and frivolous statement preventing our democratic right to demonstrate is unacceptable.

We announce to all who stand against homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia that this year the march cannot take place under these circumstances.

Press Conference on 6 June

We will hold a press conference about the Izmir Governorate’s discriminatory attitude that targets LGBTIs on 6 June at 11:00 at the Konak City Council and share details about the process with the public.

Despite all the bans and the neglect, the rainbow’s struggle for equality and freedom will continue!

The Rainbow Solidarity Network: 9 September University Equal Lane Community, Ege University LeGeBİT Community, LGBTI Commission of Eğitim-Sen Izmir Branch 2, HDK Izmir LGBTI Commission, Izmir LGBTI Initiative, Izmir LGBTI High School Initiative, Black Pink Triangle Izmir Association.



Governor bans Izmir Pride

After the ban on the Ankara March against Homophobia and Transphobia, the Izmir Governorate has banned Izmir Pride. The reasoning for the ban includes the statement “propaganda for terrorist organization”. The Rainbow Solidarity Network organizing the march will make a statement.  

Source: Kaos GL, “İzmir Onur Yürüyüşü’ne de Valilik Yasağı”, 3 June 2016, http://kaosgl.org/sayfa.php?id=21797

The Izmir Governorate banned the Izmir Pride March scheduled for tomorrow (4 June) on the basis that it “received intelligence that there may be propaganda for terrorist organization”. The march, organized by the Rainbow Solidarity Network consisting of LGBTI human rights organizations and supported by the Konak City Council was banned for the following reason:

“There have been certain tips that some persons or groups working for terror organizations will infiltrate the crowd during the demonstration; will conduct provocative acts to disturb the peace and quiet of society by provoking the crowd; will chant slogans praising illegal terror organizations during the demonstration; will open pieces of cloth that are the so-called flags of illegal organizations; these persons or groups infiltrating the crowd will attack security forces stationed there as well as public institutions, public and private vehicles with rocks, bats, Molotof cocktails, and improvised explosive devices; and will commit terror crimes. These intelligence tips have been partially confirmed”.

What happened in Ankara?

The Ankara Governorate banned Kaos GL’s March Against Homophobia and Transphobia scheduled for 22 May to celebrate IDAHOT. The Governorate put forth “certain social sensitivities” as the grounds for not finding the march “suitable” and refused to ensure the security of the march. It also lifted the decision of stay of execution by objecting to the Regional Administrative Court.