pride parade

Governor bans pride parade at the last minute; police attacks participants

The announcement by the 23. Istanbul LGBTI Pride Committee in response to a last minute ban against the pride parade is as follows:

The 13th Istanbul LGBTI Pride Parade scheduled to take place at 17:00 in Taksim has suddenly been banned by the Governorate, using the month of Ramadan as an excuse, without any announcement.

The police is attacking tens of thousands of people with pepper spray, plastic bullets and water cannons.

All entrances and exits to and from Taksim and Istiklal Street have been shut down.

We call on the Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin to adhere to the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, to immediately cease the attacks, and to make a public statement.

All Pride Parade participants are urged to remain in place and not leave Beyoglu until the walk can be started as planned.

People who believe in a free world but could not make it to Taksim: we invite you to make some noise with pots & pans or whatever you find, wherever you are, at 6pm.


Love wins!

#GelYanima #JoinUs

23. Istanbul LGBTI Pride Committee

Elif İnce: The Banned Pride Parade of ’93

The Pride parade and events planned in Beyoğlu in 1993 were banned by the governor’s office and dispersed by the police. Ilker Çakmak from the organizing committee talks about the police violence on Istiklal Avenue on that day, and about the events before the parade and its aftermath.

Source: Elif İnce, “93’ün Yasaklı Onur Yürüyüşü” (“The Banned Pride Parade of ‘93”), Bianet, December 8, 2014,

“We reached the Tunnel[1] almost crawling on the ground. We witnessed a group including foreign representatives being cuffed, dragged on the streets with skirts rolled up, and taken into custody.” (Ilker Çakmak)

The first Pride parade[2] and three day long program planned for July 2,1993 under the theme of “Sexual Freedom Events” were banned by the Istanbul governor’s office on the grounds that “they violate our traditions and customs, and the values of our society.” The police had broken down the doors of activists’ home, raided them the night before the parade, and blockaded Istiklal Avenue on the day of the parade. Those on the Avenue suspected of being gay were rounded up and detained while foreign participants were deported. Thus the first Pride parade would only take place ten years later in 2004 with a group of 40 people.

Ilker Çakmak, volunteer with the Istanbul LGBTI Solidarity Association, was in the 1993 Parade’s organizing committee. Çakmak tells us about what transpired before and after the parade.


Malatya Pride: We are neither alone, nor wrong!

Source: “Malatya’da onur yürüyüşü: Ne yalnızız, ne de yanlış!” (“Malatya Pride: We are neither alone, nor wrong!”) Kaos GL, June 23, 2014,

The Malatya Youth Initiative against Homophobia and Transphobia held the first ever pride parade in the city.

“At school, at work, in the parliament, gays are everywhere – Malatya Youth Initiative against Homophobia and Transphobia”

The eastern city of Malatya hosted participants from the surrounding cities such as Adiyaman, Antep, Bingol and Elazig as well as from Istanbul. Although the police did not let the parade take place in the planned route, those who watched the parade from their balconies showed their support with their zilgit (tongue lashing) and those driving by honking.
The rainbow family group “Families of LGBTs in Istanbul (LISTAG)” who came to Malatya for the screening of the documentary “My Child” which tells the stories of families that have LGBT kids also joined the parade.

“I am a mother of a gay, My child is gay, My daughter is lesbian”

Malatya Youth Initiative against Homophobia and Transphobia is one of the local LGBT groups that have formed after the Gezi Park protests last year.