Istanbul Governor's Office bans Pride March for the seventh year in a row

The Istanbul Governor's Office has banned a planned LGBTI+ Pride March, citing security reasons and the need to uphold public order. In a statement published on Twitter, the organizers said that they will go ahead with the march despite the ban.

Participants wave a huge rainbow flag during a gay pride parade in Istanbul in 2013.

Duvar English

The Istanbul Governor’s Office has banned the LGBTI+ Pride March which was scheduled to take place in the Maltepe district on June 26.

It will be the seventh year running that the march has been blocked by city authorities.

"Our application to the Istanbul Governor's Office to hold our 19th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride March, which will be held on Saturday, June 26, at the Maltepe Rally Ground, was rejected today. The reason for the ban is the same crap," the Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week group announced on its Twitter account on June 24.

The governor's office said it did not see the planned march as “appropriate,” citing security concerns and the need to uphold public order. It said that the march might lead to “provocative actions and events.”

The Istanbul Pride March group slammed the governor's office, saying they will hold the march despite the ban.

"They will not be able to prevent the LGBTI+ from coming together and being visible with the ban decisions we have changed for years and published with the same sentences. On June 26, we will find each other on the streets and celebrate our honor," the group's statement said. 

The Istanbul Governor's Office has been issuing a ban on the Pride March since 2015 and invoking the same excuse. Nevertheless, in recent years, people tried to gather in spite of the bans, and police responded harshly, using excessive force to arrest and disperse participants.