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Amnesty Urgent Actions
Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 06 Ensure pride marches can safely take place
UA 086/19
Abgeschlossen am 16. Juli 2019
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1.7. - News quote

Quote, published by Amnesty: «Police use unwarranted and excessive force against Istanbul Pride»


See here the media advisory that has just been issued

Istanbul Pride is planned for this Sunday 30 June despite an arbitrary ban. Colleagues in AI Turkey will be monitoring the march as there’s a serious risk that it will be broken up by police.

Please continue to write appeals. Thanks for the support !


24.6. - Latest developments

Despite the ban on Izmir Pride, several hundreds of people gathered on Saturday 22 June to celebrate. Up to 20 Pride participants were detained: They were told to disperse after reading a statement, and as they were dispersing together, they were detained; all those detained have been released. More info here

Digital action here


Istanbul Pride this coming Sunday, 30 June

A team from AI Turkey will be observing the planned Pride march. Updates on the day, will be shared.


18.6.2019 Sample tweets and quote


Pride celebrations in Turkey are being banned. All events in Antalya and Izmir are already banned and Istanbul Pride is at risk for the fifth year. This crackdown on LGBTI people must end. Act now to bring back the rainbow!

Turkey is stopping LGBTI people from celebrating this Pride season. Events are banned in Antalya and Izmir and Istanbul Pride is at risk for the fifth year. Help them protect their right to express themselves and bring back the rainbow!

Turkey has banned all Pride events in Antalya and Izmir and Istanbul Pride is at risk for the fifth year. The LGBTI community needs your help to bring back the rainbow – here’s a quick and simple way to take action

Web Action - send an email to the Minister

Media Quote


17.06.2019 Prioritize sending emails

The next Pride event at risk of being prevented is planned for 22 June so great if you can prioritize sending emails to the Minister.

Ensure pride marches can safely take place

AI-Index: EUR 44/0541/2019

On 14 June the governorate of Izmir banned all Pride events, followed by the governorate of Antalya the next day. Pride events in other cities have been prevented or are also at imminent risk of being banned, including in Istanbul, where Pride is at risk for the fifth year in a row. This clampdown on the LGBTI community in Turkey has been continuing this year despite this Pride season being the first one after the end of Turkey’s state of emergency in July 2018. The authorities must lift these unlawful bans and ensure that all Pride events are allowed to safely take place. They must protect the right to peaceful assembly without discrimination.


On 14 June 2019, İzmir Governorate announced on its website that LGBTI community events planned between 17-23 June -announced dates of the Pride week- are banned in Izmir province «to ensure residents’ peace and safety, right to physical integrity, […] public safety, national security, public order, and to protect general morality or rights and freedoms of others, as well as to prevent possible violence and terrorism.» A day later, the organizers of the Antalya Pride week were informed of a two-week ban on the Pride march and other related events issued by Antalya governorate on similar grounds effective from 15 June.

This year’s İzmir Pride march, which has been taking place since 2013, is scheduled for Saturday 22 June. The third Antalya Pride week had been planned between 14-16 June, but the Pride march scheduled for Sunday 16 June could not take place due to the ban.

Hypothetical risks to national security or public order cannot establish legitimate grounds for prohibiting a peaceful assembly. The principles of necessity and proportionality require consideration of all relevant circumstances, the impact on the legitimate concern protected and the possibility that the risk will concretize, and whether less restrictive means would suffice.

States have a positive obligation to facilitate the right to peaceful assembly in law and in practice. As it is also the case in Turkish law, the exercise of the right to freedom of peaceful assembly is not subject to the permission of government authorities. This right is also protected under international law and standards in conventions Turkey is a party to. Any decision to disperse an assembly should be taken only as a last resort and carefully in line with the principles of necessity and proportionality, i.e. only when there are no other means available to protect a legitimate aim which outweighs the right of people to assemble peacefully.

In the context of a relentless crackdown on civil society in Turkey, the once growing and vibrant LGBTI movement’s visibility and ability to organize is being severely curtailed as a result of unjustified and unlawful bans over the last years.

These most recent bans are not the first ones of their kind in Turkey. Ankara governorate had imposed a blanket indefinite ban on all LGBTI events in Ankara on 18 November 2017 in the context of the state of emergency. The ban was only lifted by a court decision on 21 February 2019 as a result of an appeal by Ankara based LGBTI rights organisation KAOS GL. Pride march organized by students at the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara on 10 May 2019 was violently broken up by police.

Celebrated annually since 2003, Istanbul Pride is at risk of being banned for the fifth year in a row. Istanbul Pride Parade has historically been the biggest event held by LGBTI activists and supporters in Turkey. It used to attract tens of thousands of participants and was once held up by the Turkish authorities as an example of their respect for human rights. The last time Istanbul Pride went ahead without restrictions was in 2014 when over 90,000 people attended a vibrant, inclusive and peaceful march. The repeated prevention of the Pride march in recent years is yet another example of the authorities’ widespread crackdown on dissent, the deterioration of the human rights situation in Turkey in general, and the authorities’ failure to uphold LGBTI rights.

Pride marches organized since 2015 in Mersin have also reportedly been prohibited over the years, where organizers had to limit their gatherings to reading out press statements. The fifth Pride week in Mersin is planned in early July, including a Pride march.

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