Turkish gov’t blockades Istanbul in fear of trans pride march

The Istanbul Governor’s Office has blockaded the megacity’s Beyoğlu and Şişli districts and closed nearby metro stations in fear of the organization of the Istanbul Trans Pride March. In response, organizers announced that they would gather at various points across the province.

The image is from the last trans pride march organized without police violence in 2015.

Duvar English

Istanbul Governor’s Office on June 23 closed down Taksim and Şişhane metro stations along with the Kabataş funicular line and disrupted public transportation in routes leading to Beyoğlu district due to the Istanbul Trans Pride March organization.

Hundreds of police officers were dispatched to Beyoğlu, Şişli, and Beşiktaş districts, setting up checkpoints, barricades, and water cannons to blockade many roads.

The governor's office did not post an official ban decision on its website contrary to the previous years.

The police also blockade Istanbul's famous Istiklal Avenue.

The 10th Istanbul Trans Pride Week has been celebrated since June 17 with several events in which venues were not publicly announced as a police crackdown was expected due to experiences in the past years.

The Turkish government has adopted an increasing anti-LGBTI+ stance against the country’s marginalized community, banned many pride marches, and detained activists in recent years.

As a response, organizers on June 23 announced that they would gather at various points in Beyoğlu, Beşiktaş, and Kadıköy districts.

The organizers first have shared a video from Beyoğlu in which activists shouting slogans in the street could be heard. The Instagram account of the trans pride week has been continuing to share footage and images from gatherings around the city.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by 10. İstanbul Trans+ Onur Haftası (@transprideistanbul)

In 2024, the police attacked and detained LGBTI+ activists who organized a pride march in Central Anatolian Eskişehir province. On the other hand, the pride march in the capital Ankara was not attacked by the police.

On June 24-30, Istanbul will also host the 32nd LGBTI+ Pride Week with a march at the end of the week.

Last year, Turkish police attacked both the trans pride march and the LGBTI+ pride march in Istanbul and detained 93 participants only in the latter.

The first Trans Pride Week was celebrated in 2010 and saw significant growth in subsequent years. Thousands participated in pride marches, particularly after 2013, on İstiklal Avenue. However, starting in 2016, the government began to target and suppress all pride marches organized in Istanbul.