Turkish opposition deputy questions gov’t over banning pride marches

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A Turkish anti-riot police officer steps on a rainbow flag during a rally staged by the LGBTI community on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul on June 19, 2016. Turkish riot police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to break up a rally staged by the LGBT community in Istanbul on June 19 in defiance of a ban. Several hundred police surrounded the main Taksim Square -- where all demonstrations have been banned since 2013 -- to prevent the "Trans Pride" event taking place during Ramadan. / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkish opposition deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu on Tuesday lodged a parliamentary inquiry asking why the deputy governor of İstanbul had banned a pride march of LGBTI+ groups, Bianet reported.

In their initial meeting with İstanbul Deputy Governor Mehmet Ali Özyiğit, the groups were prevented from holding the pride march in İstanbul’s famous Taksim Square. They then had asked to march in other venues, but Özyiğit rejected that as well.

A statement from the İstanbul Governor’s Office last week described the LGBTI+ groups as “uncertain for the public,” referring to a potential danger that would be posed by the public to the demonstrations.

On Saturday a group wanted to hold a march in İzmir but encountered aggressive tactics by the police that led to the detention of 15 activists.

Tanrıkulu also asked how many LGBTI+ members had been killed in the last 17 years, the time in power of the ruling party, due to provocative hate speech.

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