Turkish police targeted LGBTI+ activists with tear gas during Tuesday’s pride parade in the Turkish capital Ankara. Several were dragged away and handcuffed behind their backs, a practice that Turkish law considers mistreatment outside of specific circumstances.
At least 42 people were detained during the march. They were released early on Wednesday morning.
Mezopotamya Agency reporter Emel Vural was sprayed in the face by tear gas, beaten by the police and hospitalised briefly while LGBTI+ news portal and advocacy group KaosGL reporter Aslı Alpar was also injured in her leg. Police also removed all journalists from the area, saying they would not allow protesters to “put on a show”.
Islamist groups also staged counter-protests at several points along the route, KaosGL reported.
Melih Güner from the Islamist-conservative New Welfare Party (YRP) had said earlier in the week that the party would “by Allah not let them march” and called for a counter-protest. On Monday, he tweeted, “We are about to lose a whole generation (to immorality)”, repeating his calls.
Güner later said Ankara’s governor had called him personally to inform that the march would be banned.
YRP members went to the park where LGBTI+ activists had gathered, after the police took the protesters away and shared photos from the empty park.