Turkey bans Trans Pride event but activists remain defiant
Turkish banned a march by transsexual rights activists through the streets of Istanbul this weekend, following another failed attempt by Gay Pride organisers to hold a parade last week in the country's largest city.
Organisers of the Trans Pride March have vowed to ignore the ban and hold the parade without the council’s approval.
The Istanbul governor's office said the march cannot be held because the city didn't receive the correct application to hold the march, which is due to be held in the central Taksim Square.
"After an evaluation ... it has been decided not to give permission for the holding of this event," the office said in a statement.
They have urged the public to ignore the calls from activists to continue with the march.
Yet Trans Pride organisers appear ready for the parade. "We don't recognise bans... we will be at Taksim tomorrow for the Trans Pride," the group said on their Facebook page.
The Trans Pride march, if held, would have been the eighth edition of the event, which promotes rights for transsexuals in Turkey.
It and Gay Pride has suffered crackdowns in recent years, sometimes violently.
Last Sunday, police fired rubber bullets at a group of around 40 activists attempting to hold a gay pride march, an AFP journalist reported. At least four people were detained.
Witnesses said there was a heavy police presence which outnumbered the activists.
The year before, organisers were denied permission to march with the city on the edge over bombings blamed on Islamic State group and Kurdish militants, sparking anger from gay rights activists.
Critics have accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of having pursuing an orthodox and conservative agenda in power.
Authorities say they are merely acting in the interest of public security.