Turkish police fire tear gas to disperse Istanbul pride march

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ISTANBUL, June 26 (Reuters) – Turkish police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd who gathered for a pride parade in central Istanbul on Saturday, arresting some of those seeking to participate in an event prohibited by local authorities.

A Reuters TV video showed police in riot gear pushing and dragging people, some waving rainbow flags as they gathered for the event on a side street of central Istiklal Avenue in the city.

About 20 people, including a photojournalist, were arrested, according to media reports.

Riot police arrest a protester as LGBT rights activists attempt to rally for a pride parade, which was banned by local authorities, in central Istanbul, Turkey on June 26, 2021. REUTERS / Dilara Senkaya

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Turkish authorities have repeatedly banned pride events in recent years. Before that, thousands of people participated in the parade on the streets of Istanbul.

Turkey has long been a candidate for EU membership, but its accession process has dragged on for years amid tensions over various issues, including human rights.

A majority of European Union leaders on Thursday pledged to continue tackling discrimination against the LGBTI community in a joint letter amid a stalemate with Hungary, whose parliament approved a bill last week banning the distribution of material in schools deemed to promote homosexuality or gender change. .

Reporting by Mehmet Emin Caliskan, Umit Bektas and Dilara Senkaya Writing by Daren Butler Editing by Mark Potter

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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