Istanbul riot police disperse 'Trans Pride' march

Riot police break up a rally for transgender people in Istanbul, where authorities have banned gay and transgender pride marches during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

June 20, 2016 09:53

Istanbul riot police disperse "Trans Pride" march

Istanbul riot police disperse "Trans Pride" march

Istanbul riot police fired tear gas and rubber pellets on Sunday (June 19) to disperse a march for transgender people banned after ultra-nationalists said that "degenerates" could not demonstrate.

Hundreds of riot police cordoned off the city's main Taksim Square to prevent the "Trans Pride" rally taking place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

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Authorities have banned transgender and gay pride marches this month, citing security concerns after the ultra-nationalist warnings against any such events on Turkish soil.

The annual gay pride parade, described as the biggest in the Muslim world, was due to take place on June 26. Istanbul has held gay pride parades since 2003, attracting tens of thousands of marchers, but last year's was broken up by police.

Unlike many other Muslim countries, homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey but hostility toward gays remains widespread.

Critics say Turkish President Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party have shown little interest in expanding rights for minorities, gays and women, and are intolerant of dissent.

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