Another activist read from the statement that the march organizers also circulated online and said, “We miss the marches attended by thousands where we celebrate our visibility.”
On Thursday, the governor in Turkey’s capital city of Ankara, citing the need to protect “public order,” banned a screening of “Pride,” a Golden Globe-nominated film about gay activists in the United Kingdom. The prohibition on the movie followed a blanket ban issued in November on LGBTI events in Ankara.
Although homosexuality and being transgender are not illegal in Turkey, LGBTI people face discrimination and hate crimes.
Yasemin Oz, an activist and lawyer, told The Associated Press that transgender and gay people were “ostracized and discriminated against” in accessing education, health care and employment.
LGBTI individuals need to “go out to the streets, show themselves, say ‘We are here, we are among you,’” if they are to be accepted by society, Oz said.
The Turkish government denies that individuals are discriminated against based on gender identity or sexual orientation and says current laws are sufficient to protect the rights of every citizen. The government says perpetrators of anti-LGBTI hate crimes are prosecuted.
Turkey has been under a state of emergency for nearly two years following a failed coup attempt, which allows authorities to curtail some freedoms.
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