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RIGHTS > Taksim stages exuberant gay pride march joined by Gezi protesters

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A participant holds a rainbow flag during the gay pride parade in central Istanbul June 30. REUTERS photo

A participant holds a rainbow flag during the gay pride parade in central Istanbul June 30. REUTERS photo

After a month of protests, Istanbul's Taksim Square braced June 30 for the 11th annual gay pride march, as thousands of gay rights activists and demonstrators who participated in the Gezi Park gatherings marched on the iconic İstiklal Avenue.

Rainbow flags and banners supporting peace in Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian and Arabic were displayed at the march. 

Some of the banners criticized the comparison of homosexuality with a disease, as described by former Family Minister Aliye Kavaf. Another banner read, "I asked Zeki Müren, who told me to resist," in memory of the legendary and flamboyant Turkish singer who became famous during the 1950s. Although he never admitted to being homosexual, Müren changed perceptions across Turkey by openly wearing women’s clothing and make-up.

The protesters who have been holding forums in small neighborhood parks across Istanbul also joined the pride march.

Deputies from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), including Binnaz Toprak, who was recently the architect of an inquiry proposal at Parliament into the discrimination faced by the LGBT community, Şafak Pavey, Melda Onur and Hüseyin Aygün participated in the event.

The demonstrators also chanted the name of Medeni Yıldırım, who was recently killed in Diyarbakır's Lice district after being shot by soldiers during a protest denouncing the construction of a gendarmerie outpost.

German Greens co-chair Claudia Roth was also among the participants, according to daily Hürriyet.

LGBT rights groups have been very active during the protests against the demolition of Istanbul's Gezi Park, which spread across the country throughout June.


June/30/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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Brit in Turkey

7/4/2013 11:57:56 AM

K M: I support the rights of everyone provided they are within the law and do not impinge on my way of life. I try to live quietly and without offending others by attempting to thrust my way of life on them. It comes from the British sense of fair play. That is why we are so good at queueing! Volkan Volkan: I do not know of cases where people have lost their homes and agree with you that that should not be happening. The British group 10CC have an album "Live and Let Live". That is a good motto.

Misses Ataturk

7/3/2013 11:53:53 PM

Spot on Volkan and KM!

K M

7/3/2013 10:37:07 PM

So, Brit, what you're saying is you support rights for all as long as they don't offend you? Mighty white, sir.

Volkan Volkan

7/3/2013 5:00:55 PM

Brit, LGBT's do not demand attention, they want constitutional recogonition. They want people to know that there are LGBT's and that it is completely normal. How to raise awareness? yes, via prides. LGBT's don't want to lose their jobs/homes etc. just because being who they are. It is ridiculous if you, Brit in Turkey, would lose your home because you are a Briton in Turkey. Unfortunately this happens to LGBT's on a daily basis...

Brit in Turkey

7/3/2013 3:47:34 PM

mara: I speak from my upbringing in England in the 40s onwards. I think I have a general dislike of minorities (of all types) who demand more than their share of attention. It's comes from being a maritime nation. Look at the current anti-immigrant feelings for another example. You see very little of heterosexual people marching with banners proclaiming "I'm gay (ie happy) and love the opposite sex"! And don't get me going on "gay marriage". I'm not devout but still live by Christian principles.

mara mcglothin

7/2/2013 3:40:58 PM

BRIT The problem is that no one will rent to some of these people, so they don't have a "home" to conduct their lives. Freedom for all means just that, or did you forget for a moment????

Brit in Turkey

7/2/2013 12:45:00 PM

This is an odd moment, but I'm with john albay. It's an age and traditional upbringing thing.

Volkan Volkan

7/2/2013 1:09:12 AM

Well done Istanbul ! I am proud of my Istanbul brothers and sisters that stand up for LGBT rights. AKP, it's time to come up with an anti-discrimination law, otherwise you can say goodbye to an EU membership.

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

7/2/2013 12:08:37 AM

We shall tolerate john albay views because we respect freedom of speech.

M B

7/1/2013 6:41:44 PM

John, wish you could stay at home and never speak up again too however you do even though we don't want you to do so. However we have to respect you too if we want to live democratically and free.
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