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Turkey: police break into Istanbul students’ LGBT + Pride: dozens of arrests

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Turkey: police break into Istanbul students’ LGBT + Pride: dozens of arrests

The Turkish police cracked down on the Pride organized by students at the Bogazici University in Istanbul, arresting all the people participating. Riot police officers entered the university and surrounded dozens of students demonstrating for the rights of LGBT + people, waving rainbow flags. They arrested those present, handcuffed them and led them to police vehicles. A small group of young people tried to resist arrest. The government of Conservative President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has banned LGBT + demonstrations since 2015, citing reasons of security, “public sensitivity” and more. Authorities have ordered that other similar events also be prevented.

Meanwhile, students and staff at Bogazici University have been protesting since January 2021 against president-appointed rectors, demanding that academics elected by faculty members be in charge. Tensions have recently risen at the university after a poster was displayed in an exhibition on campus showing the Qaaba, considered sacred by Muslims, wrapped in rainbow flags. The Interior Ministry defined the students involved as “deviant LGBT”, while two were arrested on charges of inciting hatred and insulting religious values.

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