The İstanbul Governor’s Office has banned an LGBTI pride parade scheduled to take place in İstanbul’s famed Taksim street on July 1, citing security and public order concerns, the Turkish media reported.
The 2014 LGBTI pride parade was the last one that was allowed by the Turkish authorities. Al the following parades scheduled in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 have been banned by the İstanbul governer over “security concerns.”
The organizers of the event said on Friday that despite the ban, the pride march will take place as scheduled on Sunday.
“This march is organized in order to fight against the violence and discrimination fuelled by that governorship decision. We would like to inform the press and the public that we will go ahead with our prideful march with the same ambition as we had before,” the organizers of the parade said in a written statement on the Facebook page of Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week.
Last year, the Alperen Ocakları, an offshoot of Turkish nationalist movement the Grey Wolves (Ülkü Ocakları), announced that they would not allow LGBTI members to hold a pride parade.
“Even if the government permits it, we will not let them walk,” said Kürşat Mican, Istanbul head of Alperen Ocakları during a program on KRT TV.
“Wherever they walk, we will go there and block the street. They can come there,” added Mican, who stood trial for threats against LGBTI members ahead of the pride parade last year.
A group of NGOs announced on Wednesday that they planned to file a criminal complaint against the head of the nationalist Alperen Ocakları’s İstanbul branch over his statement.
Last year, the İstanbul Governor’s Office banned a pre-scheduled LGBTI pride parade to take place in Taksim on June 19 and 26, after an attack at an Orlando gay nightclub, where a gunman killed 49 people and injured more than 50.