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Turkey: Don't ban Istanbul pride 2018

LGBT rights activist in Istanbul
LGBT rights activist in Istanbul © Photographer Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

Just two days before the annual Istanbul Pride march was due to take place, the city governor has banned the gathering. This is the fourth year in a row a ban has been imposed. There is still time to reverse this decision! Call on the governor to lift this unlawful ban immediately!

Istanbul Pride was last permitted to take place in 2014. Over 90,000 people attended a vibrant, inclusive and peaceful march where love and human rights were celebrated.

Despite increasing restrictions on expression, the LGBTI community is defiant. On 11 May students at the Middle East Technical University peacefully marched in the face of an ongoing blanket ban on all LGBTI events in Ankara. In Izmir, hundreds celebrated the 6th annual Pride march on 10 June.

A member of the Ankara LGBTI student group said:
“The reason we could resist the ban and move forward was the international support and solidarity by activists around the world. We could not have gone further without their support.”

Turkey’s LGBTI community needs our support now more than ever. Peacefully gathering and marching are rights under domestic and international laws that the Governor of Istanbul must uphold. It’s time to celebrate Pride!

Show your solidarity, stand with the LGBTI people in Turkey and email the governor of Istanbul demanding the ban be lifted immediately and Istanbul Pride march be allowed to take place without any unlawful restrictions.