The governor of Istanbul banned an upcoming LGBT pride march due to safety concerns over threats from a far-right nationalist group. The march, originally scheduled for Sunday, has now been canceled two years in a row.
According to Reuters, the group Alperen Hearths threatened to shut down the march if city officials didn’t stop it.
“If the state lets them march, we will stop them,” an Aperen Hearths official said recently during a televised interview. “Wherever region they try to walk, we will not let them pass. If they have a right to be on the streets, then it’s our right, too.
March organizers said the ban was effectively legitimizing what they called the hate crimes of groups like Alperen Hearths, and urged the governor to reverse the decision.
The governor’s emphasis on public order and safety was an effort to distort the image of a planned peaceful march, they said in an online statement headlined: “We are Marching, Get Used to It. We are Here, Not Going Away”.
March organizers want the city to reverse the ban and provide adequate security, rather than give in to the threats of those trying to silence and stop the gathering. A not unreasonable request.