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Human Rights Commissioner Strässer saddened by violent dispersion of gay pride march in Istanbul

01.07.2015 - Press release

Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (1 July) regarding the use of force by Turkish security forces to disperse a demonstration for gay rights last Sunday (28 June):

I am saddened that the gay pride parade in Istanbul was forcefully dispersed by the Turkish security forces. Numerous demonstrations for LGTBI* rights have been held worldwide over the past few days. The Turkish parade has taken place for the past 13 years – and this is just one of the reasons why, I am pleased to say, Turkish society has grown steadily more open towards this issue. I therefore call on the Turkish authorities to work together with the organisers in the future so that peaceful events promoting LGBTI rights can take place.

Background information:

The 13th Istanbul Pride March was held on 28 June 2015. The event, which attracted some 50,000 people last year, was dispersed as it commenced this year by Turkish security forces using water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets.


*LGBTI: lesbian, gay, bi-, trans- and intersexual

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