Following the banning on Saturday 24 June of the Istanbul Pride event due to take place on Sunday 25 June, the European Pride Organisers Association and InterPride have written to the Mayor of Istanbul, as follows:
To Mr. Vasip Sahin
Governor of Istanbul
Madrid, June 24th 2017
Subject: Istanbul Pride 2017
This week, World Pride is taking place in Madrid. World Pride connects the LGBTI-community around the world, celebrating that LGBTI people are a part of society wherever they are in the world.
InterPride, the global federation of pride organizers, together with the European Pride Organisers Association, is deeply concerned that the Istanbul Pride March planned for Sunday June 25th has been banned. Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week has been organized since 1993, ending with a Pride March on Istiklal Avenue since 2002.
Demonstrations and marches are integral to basic human rights concerning the freedom of expression and association. The ban is in clear violation not only of the legal precedents of the European Court of Human Rights, but also of international treaties ratified by Turkey.
A strong and self-confident democratic country is able to embrace diversity and to withstand those who deny others their basic human rights. With your statement in which you ban the Pride march, you legitimize groups or individuals who make threats and commit hate crimes by suggesting that there are “sensitivities.”
For many years we have seen very successful pride events taking to the streets of Istanbul, celebrated by many LGBTI people. We urge you to ensure that the Pride march takes place safely and securely with respect for the human rights of every participant and spectator. You must also consider how this can be protected in the years to come.
President of European Pride Organisers Association
Co-president of InterPride
Sue Doster & Brett Hayhoe