İstanbul police disperse pride march with pepper spray, rubber bullets

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PHOTO: Neyran Elden from BBC Turkish service

Turkish police on Sunday disrupted an LGBTI+ pride march in İstanbul’s Beyoğlu district, dispersing the crowd with pepper spray and rubber bullets, according to the BBC Turkish service.

The city governor’s office imposed a ban on pride marches in İstanbul’s Taksim Square and later denied a request to hold demonstrations in Bakırköy.

On Sunday LGBTI+ groups were allowed to read a press statement in one of the streets of Beyoğlu, but after half an hour police started to intervene.

According to eyewitnesses posting video footage on social media, the policemen used pepper spray even inside bars and cafes on the street.

In the press statement the group demanded constitutional assurances from politicians for the rights of LGBTI+ people.

They also stressed the importance of challenging the physical assaults and death threats that the LGBTI+ people are subjected to in Turkey.

The report said small groups continued to shout slogans and march in Beyoğlu side streets after the police intervention.

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