Turkish police use rubber bullets and dogs to break up banned Istanbul Pride

by Pontus Johansson

Turkish police are using rubber bullets and dogs to disperse crowds of LGBT activists who are marching at Istanbul Pride despite authorities banning the event.

26 Jun, 2017

AFP reported that authorities were firing rubber bullets and ITV said that tear gas was also released on peaceful marchers.

It is believed that a number of lawyers working in conjunction with the organisers of the march were temporarily detained.

On Facebook, they wrote that one of the lawyers had been “subjected to bad treatment” in a police vehicle.

Organisers have confirmed that at least 10 people were arrested but it is unclear if they have been charged with any specific crime.

The violence comes after authorities announced that the Pride event was banned yesterday.

It was the second year in a row that it had been banned, citing fears over the safety of marchers and tourists because of threats from right-wing ultra-nationalist groups.

Organisers of Pride said that they would be able to protect themselves: “Our security will be provided by recognising us in the constitution, by securing justice, by equality and freedom.”

Authorities also claimed that a properly valid application had not been submitted by organisers – a statement that had been denied.

A statement from the Istanbul governor’s office read that there “are serious criticisms against this march and from different fractions of the society on social media”.

They called for residents of Istanbul to “help the security officers by abiding by their calls and warnings”.

The event was due to take place in Taksim Square in the centre of the city, but police established checkpoints around the area to prevent people thought to be protesters from getting to the area.

Those with Pride-affiliated clothing or signs were forced to remove the items.