GAY PRIDE PARADE ISTANBUL 2015

On 28th June 2015 the Gay Pride Parade in Istanbul was scheduled to take place like every year since 2003. It was to start at 5pm but already much earlier in the day I was surprised by the amount of police men, water canon’s and tear gas equipment around the whole centre of Istanbul. When I arrived at Taksim Square at 4.45 pm all was peaceful, but there was more police than participants. I was a bit weary but decided to take photos nevertheless. First I discovered a group of Syrians chanting for their personal freedom, rights and safety. I took photos of them for a little while and then moved on a few meters when suddenly the police started pushing us towards Istiklal Street and Siraselviler Street. I could smell teargas but thought I must imagine that untill I heard people around me also coughing. The police made a wall with their plastic shields and shoved and pushed us. As I felt this was a trap and something had started to go terribly wrong I tried to get behind the police rows but they would not let me through. Their faces were full of hate! I felt quite panicky being brutality shoved forwards. Finally I was eye to eye with a human police men who also had fear and not hatred in his face, who quickly moved a bit to let me through. I was relieved. But unfortunately many other people got trapped and were teargased and attacked by water canons and rubber bullets. In the meantime police had closed all side streets of Istiklal Street in order to hinder people joining the march. I later learned that the 2015 Istanbul LGBTI Pride March has been banned at the last minute and without prior notice by the Istanbul Governorship on account of Ramadan. But LOVE WILL WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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