İstanbul governor bans LGBTI parade in Taksim over Orlando attack

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İstanbul Governor’s Office has banned a pre-scheduled LGBTI pride parade to take place in Taksim on June 19 and 26, after a recent attack in at an Orlando gay nightclub, where a gunman killed 49 people and injured more than 50.

The governor’s office released a statement on Friday, underlining that the parade was cancelled due to safety reasons.

“Our governor’s office will not allow such a parade or protest to be held [in Taksim] on the days announced before, in order to provide safety for the participants and other citizens and maintain public order. As the law requires, proper places for such events are announced before,” the statement said.

Alperen Ocakları, an offshoot of the Turkish nationalist movement called the Grey Wolves (Ülkü Ocakları), released a statement early in the week and said they will not allow LGBTI members to hold a parade.

An organization named “Muslim Youth of Anatolia” also has started a campaign on social media against the pride parade, saying “We will not let them hold a parade.”

Mustafa Destici, chairman of the Turkish opposition Grand Unity Party, called for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government to cancel the event.

“You were elected as the ruling party by the religious and conservative sections of the society, as their representatives in Turkey. If you allowed that parade to take place [in Taksim,] you would be betraying those faithful people who voted for you,” Destici said.

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