ISTANBUL: Turkish police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to break up a rally by the LGBT community in Istanbul on Sunday, in the second crackdown in as many days on protests.
Several hundred riot police surrounded the main Taksim Square where demonstrations have been banned since major anti-government protests in 2013 to prevent the “Trans Pride” event taking place during Ramadan.
As the police swooped in on the rally of about 150 people, the crowd fled into nearby streets. Turkish media reported that at least two people were detained.
The “Trans Pride” rally was to kick off LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) week in Turkey.
The demonstrators unfurled a rainbow flag, a symbol of the LGBT community, and then tried to read a statement but were prevented from doing so by the police.
Istanbul authorities said on Friday they had banned the annual gay pride parade set for June 26 to “safeguard security and public order” after a string of bombings around Turkey over the past year, some of them blamed on the Islamic State group, others claimed by Kurdish militants.
“We want to march for humanity but the police ban everything,” an activist who gave her name as Ebru told AFP.
Earlier Sunday, 11 anti-gay protesters, demonstrating near Taksim Square were arrested, according to the Dogan news agency.
Courtesy : TheNews