Kürşat Mican, İstanbul branch head of Alperen Ocakları, an offshoot of the Turkish nationalist movement called the Grey Wolves (Ülkü Ocakları), said during an interview that they will not allow LGBTI members to hold a parade in İstanbul.
Speaking during a live TV show hosted by local KRT television, Mican complained that LGBTI members were “starting to gang up across Turkey.”
“Even if the government allows this parade, we won’t. This [the parade] is a project by capitalists, communists and imperialist powers. They want to spread homosexuality and destroy family togetherness. […] Wherever they [LGBTI members] go, we will go there and prevent them from doing this [parade]. We can find two hundred thousand people, if we want,” Mican said.
The İstanbul pride march happened for the first time in 2003. This year, it is scheduled to take place on the 1st Sunday of July. Attendees gather together in İstanbul’s famed Taksim Square before marching the İstiklal Street, which is one of the biggest pedestrian boulevard as well as one of Istanbul’s main public spots.
Last weekend, a group of homophobic people allegedly from a nationalist youth movement called “Köklü Değişim” [Radical Change] attacked tens of people attending the Mersin Pride Parade.
Third time in its history, Mersin’s LGBT community dressed in rainbow attire and culminated with a rally in gay-friendly Mersin marina on June 11 in order to mark one of the largest organized gay pride festivals in Turkey.
According to Sendika.org news portal, the parade was left half-finished as a group of at least 30 homophobic people attacked the parade.
Police reportedly detained at least 20 of the attackers.