Turkish university students arrested for Pride parade

18 students and one professor face criminal charges for participating in METU Pride.

Riot police, with a rainbow flag in the background, chase LGBT rights activists as they try to gather for a pride parade in Istanbul, Turkey (photo credit: MURAD SEZER/REUTERS)
Riot police, with a rainbow flag in the background, chase LGBT rights activists as they try to gather for a pride parade in Istanbul, Turkey
(photo credit: MURAD SEZER/REUTERS)
On May 10, 2019, 22 people were unlawfully detained by police on the Middle East Technical University's campus after celebrating LGBTQ Pride. Now 18 of them are facing criminal charges.
The students and professor are being charged with "attending unlawful assemblies and marches" and "failure to disperse by themselves despite being warned."
The trial begins November 12.
In a video posted on Twitter one can see the police officers violently break up the gathering by using pepper spray, plastic bullets and tear gas. The tweet reads, "Police intervention using teargas, targeted students during the #PrideParade on Middle East Technical University campus in Ankara."


"Pride for us, is the one day we can come together and express ourselves on campus as who we are. We just want to celebrate the LGBTI community like many of our peers in other countries. We are asking everyone to stand in solidarity with us and help us celebrate Pride at METU again this year," said student Melike Balkan.
The decision to break up the event came after a Turkish court found a blanket ban on all LGBTQ events in Turkey to be unlawful.