22nd Pride Parade Celebrated in Istanbul
Hundreds of thousands of people celebrated the LGBT community’s 22nd Pride Parade in Istanbul yesterday.
More than 100, 000 people gathered in Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul to celebrate the 22th Pride Parade for the LGBT community on the 29 June, under some strict security measures by the police who blocked the roads to Taksim Square and Gezi Park with water cannons since early morning.
Community members, as well their families and loved ones participated in the parade, chanting for the freedom for same-sex marriage and against homophobia. They carried banners that said, “Unconditional Love is Possible.”
Most attendees appeared in the parade in glamorous costumes adorned with the colours of the international flag of the community. The crowd shouted slogans against fascism and capitalism, as well, saying ‘Be gone AKP!’ and ‘Legs up Against Fascism!’ and ‘Down with all the shopping centers!’
The United Kingdom Consulate displayed the LGBT flag on its building near Istiklal Avenue. The US consul, Charles Hunter, also expressed his support for the community: “I am also gay and here I am in the pride parade of the LGBT people.”
The community’s Istanbul branch made a press statement at the end of the parade, referring to the June Revolt in 2013 which helped in shifting the perceptions of Turkish people who have started to feel more comfortable with lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders, despite the fact that Turkey is a country with more than 95% Muslims. The spokesperson of the Istanbul LGBT community concluded his speech saying: “It is time to touch each other, not to avoid!”
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