On the same day that the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, US diplomat Chuck Hunter witnessed police forces violently crack down on a peaceful celebration of LGBTQ+ rights in Istanbul—essentially Turkey’s last legal pride parade.
The annual pride parade in Istanbul, which had been going for decades, had been the largest in the Muslim world—notably attracting thousands of people celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer social and self-acceptance, achievements, legal rights, and pride.
However, the pride parade in 2015 turned out differently, ending with police shooting water cannons, tear gas, and rubber pellets at the peaceful marchers to disperse the annual celebration, which that year coincided with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Ever since that year, the parade has been banned by the local authority citing security concerns and the need to uphold public order. In 2018, 2019, and 2021 people nevertheless showed up to celebrate LGBTQ+ rights, only to be met with tear gas, rubber bullets, and arrests by the police. Read more