U.S. State Department criticises Turkey’s LGBT crackdown
The United States called on the Turkish authorities to respect fundamental freedoms for all of its citizens, including LGBT people.
“We are concerned by the recent prevention of the exercise of freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly in Istanbul,” U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Twitter on Monday, in response to a police crackdown on the Istanbul Pride march on Saturday.
Police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd that gathered for the parade in Istanbul’s central Taksim district, detaining more than 20 people. They pushed and dragged people, some waving rainbow flags, as they gathered to take part on a side street off Taksim’s main street of Istiklal Avenue. Journalists were among the detainees.
The Istanbul Governor’s Office had banned the march earlier last week. While gay rights have never been criminalised under the laws of the modern Turkish republic, the authorities have banned LGBT-focused events since 2015.