Turkish Police Crack Down on Gay Pride Parade That Was Canceled Due to Ramadan

Activists say government crack down was meant to gain support for the government.



Riot police in Turkey used pepper spray, water cannons, and rubber pellets to break up a gay pride parade in Istanbul that's been an annual tradition for at least the last decade but was not permitted by local authorities this year because it fell during Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

CNN reports:

Paradegoers continued to celebrate in the side streets, as riot police chased other attendees from arteries of Istanbul's main commercial district of Taksim.

One video shows a gay pride attendee being swept off his feet with the force of a water cannon.

Two years ago, a protest over the tearing down of a park in Taksim led to the largest anti-government protests Turkey had seen since the Islamist-oriented Justice and Development Party (AK) was first voted into power in 2002. Police cracked down on the protests and eventually they went away. But this month, for the first time since starting to compete in elections, AK failed to win an outright majority.

Opponents of the government say it's not only homophobia animating this weekend's crack down but an attempt to shore up the government's popularity.

Via CNN:

Activists say they weren't just targeted because of their sexual orientation or fight for equality, 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…

CNN spoke to many sources who felt that the crackdown on Sunday's march was an attempt to appeal to Erdogan's conservative base.

"This is happening after the elections because they realize the power of the LGBTI movement," said transgender activist Ruzgar Buski. "Erdogan's government has lost their power and they know the LGBTI community stands with other minorities."

Is the government's effort at scapegoating working? CNN found a man on the street that suggested yes:

A man approached her and yelled, "Shut up and go away!" He told CNN that he did not like gay people and they were causing problems in Turkey, and then stressed that the country is Muslim and, to him, being Muslim and gay were in conflict.

The clashes with police came after Friday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage, which LGBTI activists in Turkey celebrated.

Gay, trans and intersex people in Turkey say they aren't at the stage where they could imagine that kind of equality in their country.

"We are at the stage of 'Please don't kill us,'" said Sevval Kilic, a transgender activist who helped organize the pride parade. "We don't discuss equal marriage or employment rights or whatever. We are just demanding our basic human rights."

While Turkey does not recognize same-sex marriage or permit gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, homosexual activity has been generally legalized in the land now known as Turkey since the 1850s, when it was ruled by the Ottoman Empire, and there has been a right to change your legal gender since 1988. There are about 50 majority Muslim countries in the world—seven of them attach the death penalty in some manner to criminalized homosexual activity. Thirty two of them criminalize homosexuality in some form, including some countries, like Palestine, Kuwait, and Uzbekistan, that only prohibit male homosexuality.

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  1. Which side to take? Hmmmm


    1. You have identified a Buridan’s Ass scenario for the New Old Left.

    2. Makes you wonder what will finally shatter the cultural Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between the heirs of CPUSA and what could be termed IS-USA.

  2. Wow, this is trigger warnings all the way down.

    Devout Muslims don’t have a lot of acceptance of gays.

    Gays are oppressed by Muslims. Having a gay pride parade is a provocative act which flies in the face of millions of devoutly religious people. You might as well draw a picture of Muhammed…

    Yet canceling Gay Pride parade is clearly a jab at an oppressed minority.

    1. It’s a mobius strip of punching down.

    2. I blame everything on global warming.

    3. We need Gay Ataturk stat!

      1. /makes mental note if ever he wants to burn all bridges with his Turkish relations.

  3. Turkish culture is very hypermasculine. A man perceived as being unmanly will get a great deal of grief from his fellows (lik ebeatings and shit).

    And, like many hypermasculine cultures, it’s not the gender of who a man fucks that matters, but who is penetrating whom. So fucking someone up the ass doesn’t mean you’re gay, but getting fucked means that you are totally gay.

    And one of the most demeaning things that a hypermasculine man can be subjected to is being propositioned by a gay guy, because that means that one looks efete enough that one’s lack of manhood is noticeable to total strangers.

    Turks are also are heavily indoctrinated in state run schools to defend Turkishness. This manifests itself not only in a willingness to fight external enemies, but also to be on the lokout for insidious internal forces that would weaken the country. And, being unmasculine and faggy, gays are very much a force that leaves Turks more vulnerable to outside attack.

    That’s why that hilarious map done by that cartograhpy student of Europe as seen by gay men labeled Turkey “the Land of Sexy Homophobes.”

    1. Turkey is indeed a very strange place regarding these themes. I mean, one of their most revered celebrities is a trans-woman (B?lent Ersoy).

      She’s all over the TV in Turkey.

      The indoctrination definitely is apparent, even when they’re outside the country and less subject to the self-reinforcing peer pressure of ultra-manliness. It is, however, absolutely hilarious how insanely willing educated Turkish women are to come very close to what would be viewed as emasculating their peers/co-workers – again, at least when outside of Turkey.

      Turks may be indoctrinated, but holy fuck are they opinionated on a whole range of things, and they will let you know. And a lot of them are funny as hell in a deadpan way. Great people to drink with.

    2. “And, like many hypermasculine cultures, it’s not the gender of who a man fucks that matters, but who is penetrating whom. So fucking someone up the ass doesn’t mean you’re gay, but getting fucked means that you are totally gay.”

      I think this is kind of universal, in cultures that have embraced the fallacy of homoism, which at this point is every European culture. I think it’s more useful to reserve “hypermasculinity” for describing the neuranatomic and attendant behavioral quirks of certain groups, such as the Bantu, homosexuals, and weirdo individuals. Otherwise we end up with the same word having two totally different meanings, which actually end up nigh opposite to one another in contexts where they could be logicly applied in either sense. We already got a fine term for it in the sense you’re using it, which is “machismo”. And I’m sure there’s dozens more one could drop off the fly on a hat, like “supermanly”, &c.

    1. Perhaps the Turks just like their jewelry stores and bakeries. It is interesting to see what message all of this nonsense is sending to the rest of the world. The message is don’t let your gays out of the closet unless you want fascist mobs demanding control of everyone’s thoughts.

      1. This happened in Canada, I think.

        1. It did. But the point is what do places like Turkey think when they see what western tolerance of gays leads to.

      2. “I’m sorry, you can’t return something for spite.”

        More seriously, how does “demanding a refund” equate to “fascism”?

        Freedom of association works both ways, you know.

        1. If you sell me a sandwich, without claiming it to be Kosher or Halal, and I demand a refund because it’s not, that’s free association to you?

          If I gather an angry mob and compel you to give me a refund under threats, that’s just the free market at work?

          I mean, they literally found out post facto because of a sign someone else saw in the window (it’s not clear whether he put it up afterwards). It’s literally like eating a sandwich from a Kosher deli and then discovering the knife wasn’t sharp enough or w/e.

          1. Who said anything about gathering angy mobs?

            Mind you, I think what they’re doing sounds shitty and deranged – especially since the jeweller seemed perfectly happy to sell to them (I can’t access the article here).

            1. The jeweler granted their refund claiming threats both named and anonymous;

              “However, due to posting our religious beliefs, many people in Newfoundland want us to shut down business ? that’s what they’ve been telling us.”

              He said some threats came with names and others were anonymous.

              “One of them states that ‘you better give them the money back or you will be very, very sorry,'” he said.

              The schadenfreude is what John points out; this poor bastard literally claims to have left the oppression of Mexico seeking the rights and freedoms offered in Canada.

              1. Maybe he could move to a town that’s not full of assholes. Such as NYC – where I see religious messages in shops all the time and nobody’s making any threats.

                1. Yeah, the burden is on him to flee – not the assholes to not be threatening.

              2. left the oppression of Mexico seeking the rights and freedoms offered in Canada.

                He got those rights… good and hard.

            2. And come on! It’s not like the jeweller is now going to just happen to run into ANOTHER GAY couple who wants to buy from him to which he can sell the rings. So, at this point, the rings are essentially valuless and he can’t take them back without a loss.

        2. It’s not fascism, it’s douchism.

      3. Your ability to shoehorn absurd conclusions into events is nonpareil John.

  4. Is the government’s effort at scapegoating working? CNN found a man on the street that suggested yes…

    Seems like a legit sampling.

    1. The only thing worse than “man-on-the-street” news is video click-bait news.

      1. You’ll never believe what happened next!

  5. Hitler was a huge Ataturk fan.

    All those things C.S. Lewis thought made Christianity the natural enemy of Nazi style fascism? Hitler agreed 100%.

    Really good article:


    1. One of the most awkward moments I’ve ever experienced was a discussion about the middle east with some acquaintances and family when I referenced Turkey being a fascist country in a point I was making.

      They thought I was joking in bad taste. Then I walked them briskly through the planks of Kemalism. There was a moment of dawning horror followed by utter repudiation. My mom actually looked like she was about to cry. But they all agreed I was wrong, wrong, wrong, and also I was ignoring the actual threat posed by the imams and the allies and the bandits towards the young Turkish republic. It was necessary! I didn’t understand!

      Just a few months earlier I had read a biography of a U.S. marshal that at one point had been sent out to apprehend a Latvian who had enlisted in the Waffen SS and then emigrated to the U.S. In hunting him down, the marshal spoke to many friends and acquaintences, particularly people who were connected to a social club called the Knights of Riga which apparently was a hangout for former Latvian auxiliaries for Hitler’s empire. Hearing my parents make the same excuses that these fascist Jew hunters was kind of gut-churning.

      For the first time in my life I confronted the reality that good people could be enlisted to do evil. Luckily Attaturk’s fascism was far more benevolent than Hitler’s, so long as you used approved Turkish names in naming your kids.

      1. I put Attaturk in the same class as Franco and maybe Pinochet. Fascists who were so because the only alternative to their less harmful brand of fascism was genocidal fascism or communism.

        1. One could argue that the Turks did practice genocidal fascism. Certainly, many if not most the Kurds and Armenians would call the repression they suffered at the hands of the Turkish Republic genocidal. Fortunately Attaturk and his successors didn’t want to kill them, but forcibly replace their culture with the new secular Turkish culture they were imposing. The prisons, beatings, torture chambers and occasional executions were all too real, though.

          The problem was that the Turks adopted the French republic as their template. And it was a deal with the devil – the modern state felt its survival depended on cultivating the culture, fertilizing here, staking and guying there, and occasionally pruning or uprooting bad bits ruthlessly, and they truly believe they must keep doing it for their society to survive.

        2. From the perspective of free societies, people tend not to understand that sort of thing. A few yrs. ago I developed a real sympathy for Francois Duvalier & even his son Baby Doc. In Haiti they had a brief period in the 19th C. of free society, but other than that it’s been such that you can’t really free them, you can only “retaliate 1st”. You have to be a brutal ruler there because they really are out to get you, & the best you can do is create results that are less brutal for the uninvolved than they would be if the people trying to knock you off got their way. I really think Papa Doc & to a lesser extent Jean-Claude wanted to do the right thing, but the tools available for doing so were very blunt.

      2. Didn’t Ataturk himself even frame Kemalism as a ‘third way’ after interacting with the West and the Soviets? I mean, you don’t get more ‘fascist dog whistle’ than that.

        1. In his defense, in the late 20’s, fascism *was* the wave of the future. throughout the world, there was a consensus amongs non-communist intellectuals that it was a great way to get the benefits of scientific development without sacrificing a chance for people to get rich.

          It was the 30’s when the cracks in this vision began to show.

    2. I read that as “Amtrak”. Talk about NOT making the trains on time.

  6. So take me back to Constantinople
    No, you can’t go back to Constantinople
    Been a long time gone, Constantinople
    Why did Constantinople get the works?
    That’s nobody’s business but the Turks

  7. Let see…….
    If I side with the gays against the Muslims, I get beheaded and killed and all sorts of scary stuff.
    If I side with the Muslims against the gays, lots of really stylish guys and mannish women get killed. But NOT ME!
    So yeah for Muhammed! (PBUH)

    Your sarcasm meter should now be pegged in the red (oooh, I love it when she does that to me…..)

    1. That’s what you call sarcasm?


  8. LGBTI?

    Did I slip off the reservation again? What in holy fuck is the I in that alphabet soup of navel gazing identities?

    1. I believe that is “intersex”.

      1. Seems like discussions of intersectionality involving intersexuality would get confusing fast.

      2. Yeah, I went and googled it…

        Then I had to google “intersex”. That is 5 minutes I want back.

        When you go all the way out to “lgbtiqqa” then it eventually has to become parody at some point, doesn’t it?

        “I want to be different! Just like everyone else!”

        1. “I want to be different! Just like everyone else!”

          A really nuanced and complex difference that can be summarily explained/ignored by another letter at the end of a nonsensical string of loosely-related letters.

    2. What in holy fuck is the I in that alphabet soup of navel gazing identities?

      Idolisers – you know, the guys who have sex with idols, statues, real-dolls and fleshlights.

      1. If you pray to your real doll and call it an idol, can you write the cost off on your taxes on religious grounds?

        /asking for a friend

      2. Idiots.

  9. Turkey (but not Turkey alone?other “fowl” countries too, heh) hasn’t gotten that tolerance thing down yet, so they veer between governmental Islamism & France-like muscular secularism (to put the Islamists down so they don’t get too powerful?like that ever works). Somebody’s going to impose on somebody, it seems, so it’s just a matter of letting each side get the right # of licks in.

  10. To be fair, the Middle East isn’t exactly the cradle of civilisation.

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