Istanbul Riot Police Disperse ‘Trans Pride’ March
Hundreds of riot police cordoned off the city’s main Taksim Square to prevent the “Trans Pride” rally taking place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Authorities have banned transgender and gay pride marches this month, citing security concerns after the ultra-nationalist warnings against any such events on Turkish soil.
The annual gay pride parade, described as the biggest in the Muslim world, was due to take place on June 26. Istanbul has held gay pride parades since 2003, attracting tens of thousands of marchers, but last year’s was broken up by police.
Although the Turkish republic is constitutionally secular, the vast majority of the population is Muslim.
Unlike many other Muslim countries, homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey but hostility toward gays remains widespread.
The assault by the riot police targeted protesters angered by an attack on a record store launching the new Radiohead album on Saturday.
A group of men armed with sticks and bottles attacked the store late on Friday, apparently in protest at people drinking beer during Ramadan, video footage on social media showed.