On Sunday thousands gathered at Turkey’s fifth annual Transgender Pride. LGBT citizens and allies came together to march against discrimination, abuse and violence facing the transgender community.
VICE News reports that there were many police present at the march. Marchers were unable to assemble at Taksim Square (where the anti-government Gezi Park protests took place last year) and had to meet in a nearby square instead.
Turkey’s transgender community faces unbelievable hardships every day. Transgender people in Turkey can be refused service at shops and restaurants, not allowed on public transportation and face vicious attacks, fines and arrests by the police.
Turkey is a country that has been noted for intolerance and violence against the LGBT community and allies. Turkey recently made headlines when the government proposed to expand opportunities for women and protect individuals from discrimination based on sexual orientation, as well as for creating furor over banning a major health website for transmen as an “administrative measure.” . In 2013, the European Union announced that hate speech was on the rise in Turkey, and urged the Turkish government to take greater measures to protect the rights of LGBT Turkish citizens.
HRC hopes that through efforts such as this, greater visibility of the LGBT community will lead to better understanding and equality of rights for all citizens of the country.