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HomeWorldTurkish police crackdown on gay pride march, citing Ramadan

Turkish police crackdown on gay pride march, citing Ramadan

To keep gay pride marchers from gathering at Taksim Square in the capital, Turkish police fired

pepper spray and rubber pellets at them, forcing them to huddle together in a corner.

Turkey as a nation, has not banned homosexuality and has allowed peaceful gay pride parades since last 13 years, says the CNN.

However, the crackdown on the event this year comes as it coincides with the holy month of Ramadan, the organisers of the march said in a statement.

However, some other activists doubt that they are being targeted only because of their sexual orientation, but because Turkey’s government wants to silence all minorities and anyone officials perceives as a threat to the conservative ruling Justice and Development Party, the CNN reported.

Between 100 and 200 protesters were chased away from Taksim Square as they began gathering in the late afternoon. Police hemmed the demonstrators into a small corner of the square and then fired several jets of water to force them down a side street.

Within minutes, the noisy but otherwise peaceful rally restarted a few blocks away and grew to several thousand people as the day wore on.

The protest broke up around nightfall as many headed to local bars to celebrate.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people in US pack pride events from New York City to San Francisco, reveling in the US high court’s endorsement of gay marriage.

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