Istanbul’s two district governors ban LGBTI+ themed movie screening over being against 'constitutional rule'

Istanbul’s Şişli District Governor’s Office on June 6 banned the screening of an LGBTI+ themed documentary on the grounds that it is against the “constitutional rule.” Using the same ban decision, Kadıköy District Governor’s Office on June 7 banned the screening of another movie as well, and police detained those who came to the screening.

The police blockades the cinema collective's building.

Duvar English

Kadıköy’s District Governor’s Office on June 7 banned the screening of the movie titled “Pride” organized by the Beksav Cinema Collective. The collective stated that they will organize the screening despite the ban. Nonetheless, the police blockaded their building and detained people who came to watch the movie screening and the BEKSAV executives.

In the ban decision, the district governor's office deemed the event as "contrary to public morality, would provoke outrage in society, would touch national, conscientious and human values, and could threaten social peace."

The authorities banned all the events in the district for one day in order to protect “the indivisible integrity of the state, nation, country, constitutional order, and rights and freedoms of others.” 

Also, the University Feminist Collective on June 6 announced that Istanbul’s Şişli District Governor’s Office banned their LGBTI+ themed movie screening of the documentary named “Diren Ayol.” The collective organized the event as part of the pride month celebrations. The district governor's office use the same ban decision text.

Despite the ban, the collective organized the screening and stated, "You are even afraid of women and LGBTI+ coming together to watch a movie. Get used to it; we are here, we are together!"

“Diren Ayol” is a 2016 documentary about the role of Turkey’s LGBTI+ community in the Gezi Park protests and the impact of the protest on them. In the film "Pride," a group of LGBTI+ activists forms an unexpected alliance with a coal miners' union during the 1984 British miners' strike, leading to a powerful story of solidarity and acceptance.