Ban on Pride: LGBTQ violence in Turkey

Police in Turkey prevent an LGBTQ rights activist from marching in a planned Pride parade. PHOTO CREDITS: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

As we wrap up this year’s Pride Month, we can celebrate certain victories for the LGBTQ community, such as the recent legalization of same-sex marriage in Germany, but we should also bring light to LGBTQ injustice. Last week, activists in Istanbul, Turkey were assaulted and arrested for trying to march in a Pride parade. Police fired rubber bullets at the crowd and arrested around 20 marchers.   Although homosexuality is legal in Turkey, Pride marches have not been allowed for the past three years. In 2014, Istanbul’s Pride march attracted up to 100,000 people and was one of the largest events celebrating LGBTQ rights in the Muslim world.   The city of Istanbul had banned the planned Pride parade due to threats from far-right and conservative groups. When activists tried to march anyway, riot police were there to stop them in their tracks. They may have succeeded in preventing people from marching, but they could not defeat their spirit for justice:  

  How can we as peacemakers show solidarity for our LGBTQ friends? What can we do to increase tolerance, understanding, and compassion for the LGBTQ community?   Join a community of peacemakers and create a project to address LGBTQ injustice today!