On May 11, hundreds of LGBTI+ students and their allies at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara defied an official, province-wide ban on LGBTI- focused events and marched in support of LGBTI+ rights. Unlike other recent LGBTI+ marches in Turkey, including the annual pride parade in Istanbul, the student’s march proceeded without police intervention.
In response to the march, Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s Campaigns Director for Europe said:
Today love triumphed in Turkey as hundreds of university students defied a blanket ban on LGBTI events in Ankara and went ahead with their annual Pride march. Their action sent a message of hope to all those struggling to withstand the climate of fear and uphold fundamental rights in Turkey and beyond.
But whilst their courage and determination is an inspiration to all activists fighting for freedom and equality in the face of repression, the fact these students had to fight for their right to hold a peaceful march in the first place is disgraceful. Ankara’s authorities must now lift the unlawful and ridiculous blanket ban on all LGBTI events.
The student’s march was a small victory, but all events in support of or discussing LGBTI+ individuals must also be allowed to proceed in the same manner. Click here to tell the Governor of Ankara to lift the ban on LGBTI+ events in his province.