The Turkish police are continuing their attempts to intimidate LGBT people (lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, etc.). Shortly before the start of the Pride March in Istanbul, on Sunday June 26, riot police raided several bars in the Cihangir district, around Taksim, and “randomly” arrested people who found there.
Bülent Kiliç, an experienced and award-winning photographer for Agence France-Presse, accustomed to conflict zones, was handcuffed behind the back, had his T-shirt ripped off and was taken with others aboard a van police. He had already been arrested last year in the same circumstances.
The Istanbul Pride March, the first edition of which took place in 2003, has been officially banned since 2015 by the governor of the city, officially “for security reasons”, after a spectacular parade in 2014 of more than a hundred thousand people in Istanbul. Again this year, hundreds of protesters waved rainbow flags and began gathering in the streets adjacent to the famous Taksim Square, which is completely closed to the public.