Istanbul Police Use Tear Gas at Banned Pride March

Credit: louis Fishman, @istanbultelaviv via twitter

Several hundred people came to Istanbul’s 17th annual Pride march, but were turned away by police using tear gas and plastic bullets on the crowd.

Turkish officials banned the parade for the fifth year in a row, even though homosexuality isn’t illegal in Istanbul, according to DW. Organizers said the event was banned because the LGBT community in Istanbul is “societally objectionable.” 

"There is a massive police presence all around the city to prevent the celebration of Pride, but despite that, activities are still going on," DW's Turkey correspondent Dorian Jones reported, noting police officers had a water cannon ready to disperse the crowd.

Amnesty International, a human rights organization, urged Turkish officials to lift the ban, but to no avail. Despite gay sex not being a crime, homophobia is still widespread in Istanbul