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Istanbul Pride 2013

Turkey crackdown on LGBT events must stop

Many of us enjoy attending LGBT events – whether it be to learn more about LGBT history, watch LGBT films at a screening, or simply to enjoy being in a space where LGBT people are supported and can be themselves. 

In Turkey, a country ranked as one of the worst countries in Europe for LGBT rights violations, LGBT cultural events have particular importance. Yet LGBT events in Turkey are currently under attack, marking a rollback of LGBT rights. 

Last month, Turkey’s capital – Ankara – announced a discriminatory ban under which all LGBT film screenings, theatre, panel discussions, exhibitions and gatherings have been prohibited indefinitely. The authorities claim the ban – which in-country LGBT rights groups are taking legal action against  - has been imposed to protect "public order" and preserve “morality”.

Since the ban in Ankara was announced, other cities have followed suit and the ban has now been extended to include Bursa and Istanbul. 

Earlier this year, when LGBT activists attempted to gather to mark Pride in Istanbul, police violently dispersed the gathering, firing rubber bullets at the crowd. Pride parades have been banned in the city for the past three years. 

We’re calling on the UK Government to urge the Turkish authorities to respect LGBT rights.

We’re calling on the UK Government to urge the Turkish authorities to respect LGBT rights and put an end to the discriminatory banning of LGBT events.

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