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Turkish Police Fire Rubber Bullets at Pride Parade

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators who gathered for a gay pride rally in Istanbul despite a government ban.

A woman holding a rainbow flag at a Trans Pride parade on Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul on June 19, 2016.

Police called on demonstrators to disperse and prevented activists from marching or making statements.

Ozan Kose / AFP - Getty Images

Participants carry rainbow flags as they gather for the Trans Pride parade.

Istanbul's governor had banned gay, lesbian and transgender individuals from holding two annual parades this year, both Sunday's seventh Trans Pride March and a broader LGBT pride parade on June 26. His office cited security concerns as the basis for the ban.

SEDAT SUNA / EPA

Turkish police fire plastic bullets as participants gather for the parade.

More than 300 policemen in anti-riot gear and backed by water cannons were deployed along the pedestrian thoroughfare and on side streets.

SEDAT SUNA / EPA

People run as police fire rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators.

Turkish Islamist and ultra-nationalist groups had threatened counter-demonstrations to stop the parade from taking place but didn't turn up Sunday.

Istanbul has witnessed a series of deadly bombings in the past year, including two suicide attacks targeting tourists — one on Istiklal Street.

OZAN KOSE / AFP - Getty Images

People react as they watch Turkish police officers fire rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators.

OZAN KOSE / AFP - Getty Images
Turkish police arrest a demonstrator. Emrah Gurel / AP
Turkish police charge demonstrators who gathered for the march. Emrah Gurel / AP
A woman reacts after tear gas was fired as Turkish police dispersed demonstrators. OZAN KOSE / AFP - Getty Images

A Turkish police officer steps on a rainbow flag at the rally.

--The Associated Press

OZAN KOSE / AFP - Getty Images