Expert court report reveals police torture during Pride March in Ankara

An expert report, filed for a case regarding the Pride March held in Ankara in 2022, revealed that LGBTI+ individuals were tortured during the march while the police were attacking the group to disperse them and under detention.

Duvar English

An expert court report has cited the police torture of LGBTI+ individuals during the Pride March held in the Turkish capital Ankara in 2022, the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) reported on May 13.

In the case where 42 people are on trial, who were beaten and detained during the 2nd Ankara Pride March in Ankara in July 2022, an expert has prepared a report based on police footages.

The report cited that the police officers slapped and kicked the LGBTI+ individuals during the police intervention. Meanwhile, nearby citizens and even the police chief warned the officers against the harshness of the attack.

“It was determined that there were more civilian and official police officers in the area compared to the protesters, that during the intervention to the group and individual protesters, some officers showed behaviors such as kicking, slapping, spraying pepper spray at close range, that the police chief gave verbal warnings to the officers for the level of intervention during the handcuffing of the protesters and putting them into the vehicles, and that verbal warnings were also received from the civilian population,” the report said.

The report also noted that they could not determine whether the “disperse” announcement was made before the intervention since the first parts of the footage taken by the police were not included in the file.

Moreover, a police officer "was seen to be in a violent behavior" while the detainees were being taken into a vehicle and a ranking police officer shouted “calm down, calm down” to the attacking officers.

In recent years the government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) has toughened its stance on LGBTI+ community. Homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, but hostility to it is widespread and police crackdowns on Pride parades have been increasingly tougher over the years.