Turkish Police Fire Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas at LGBT Parade
People cover their face with t-shirts as Turkish anti-riot police officers fire rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators gathered for a rally staged by the LGBT community on Istiklal avenue in Istanbul on June 19, 2016.GURCAN OZTURK / AFP/Getty Images
By Associated Press
ISTANBUL — Turkish police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators who gathered Sunday for a gay pride rally in Istanbul despite a government ban.
Dozens of participants advocating transgender rights assembled off Istiklal Street, a major commercial artery, some brandishing rainbow flags.
Police called on them to disperse and prevented activists from marching or making statements. A couple of individuals were detained.
More than 300 policemen in anti-riot gear and backed by water cannons were deployed along the pedestrian thoroughfare and on side streets.
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.
In a statement that they were prevented from reading publicly, Trans Pride organizers said the community was "terrorized by both the state and puritanical groups."