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RIGHTS >Ultranationalist group threatens LGBT Pride March in Istanbul

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The Alperen Hearths, an ultranationalist youth organization linked to the nationalist Great Union Party (BBP), has threatened the LGBT Pride March set to take place on June 26 in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, vowing to prevent the march from taking place. 

A similar threat was also recently made by a group called the Anatolia Muslim Youth Association (MAG), which vowed to intervene to stop the “perversion.” 

“Dear state officials, don’t make us struggle with these [people]. Either you do what’s necessary or we will. We will take all the risks and we will stop the march,” the organization’s Istanbul provincial head, Kürşat Mican, told journalists late on June 14 at their building in Üsküdar.

“They can do whatever they want by gathering somewhere, but we definitely don’t want them to walk naked on the sacred soil of our country in the blessed month of Ramadan. The state should stop them by taking national values into account. This is not normal freedom. We are issuing a warning and we are not responsible for what will happen after this point,” Mican added. 

Vowing not to allow “immoral people to perform their fantasies,” the Alperen Hearths vowed to give a “very clear and harsh response” if the state did not interfere with the march. 

“Dear state officials, who close their eyes and ears to this immorality and who allow this, we are calling on you to perform your duties to stop this immorality. Otherwise the Alperen Hearths, who are the representatives of the people, will perform their duties on this soil which was passed to us from our ancestors. Our reaction will be very clear and harsh. Things they are mocking us by ignoring our values in this holy month,” Mican stated.

Meanwhile, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Selin Sayek Böke has vowed to “monitor” what she described as a “mafia group.” 

“A mafia group has appeared and said it will prevent the Pride March that will take place in a couple of days for LGBT individuals. We stress that we are monitoring this. We must all live together with our differences,” said Böke.

June/15/2016

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