Beyoğlu District Governor’s Office announced on Friday that the Pride Week March that was to be held in Taksim in Istanbul had been prohibited. LGBTI+ activists stated that the ban was unlawful, and gathered in a number of places in Beyoğlu to protest against the decision.
AFP journalist Bülent Kılıç was following the march. Police detained him and forced him to the ground, pressing down on his neck in the process. He was then taken to Beyoğlu district police station and released following a medical check. His camera and technical equipment were damaged during his detention.
Pictures of his arrest were widely covered and shared on social media and many expressed concern at his targeting. Kılıç’s lawyer Zelal Pelin Doğan stated that both his arrest and the way he was treated were unlawful and clarified that that they were going to file a complaint.
The journalist shared his experience on his Twitter account: “They made an attempt on my life. They tried to smother me. I am going to call the people who did this to me to account at the Constitutional Court, the European Court of Human Rights, whatever court in the world I can. They will have to account to the courts for what I went through.
“It will not be left to Divine Judgement. The same evil which killed Metin Göktepe in Eyüp Sports Stadium today pressed down on my neck and tried to smother me today but they failed. Bless the people who stood up for their journalist. All our friends were mobilised for war. It’s not easy, that. We still have work to do.”