Hope, Courage, and Resistance Will Carry On

Press release by the 30. Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week and 20. Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride March Committee

In the 20th year of Pride March, held every year in the last week of June, hate campaigns tried to deter its realization, and the security forces attempted to stop it. Despite all the obstacles, bans of the governorship, the threat of Islamo-fascist gangs, and police violence, we held the Istanbul Pride March. During the 20th Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride March, 373 people, including attorneys, were unlawfully detained.

Before the statement to the press, intended to be delivered on Taksim Sıraselviler Street at 5 pm on Sunday, police took into custody people sitting in the cafes and walking on the street brutally. The security forces blockaded the entire neighborhood, public transportation shut down, impeded pedestrian access, and people could not leave or enter their apartments. The detainees were subjected to police violence and harassment inside these vehicles in reverse handcuffs, confined and suffocating in airless buses for hours under surveillance.

The families, friends, and LGBTI+s waiting outside for our detained friends' safe release were threatened by an unlawful detention. Even after the marches concluded, the police continued their arbitrary arrests, blockade, and violence in the neighborhoods.

Using all the legal and illegal means of the state and the government, not only our pride march is being criminalized, but the legitimacy of the lubunya movement as well. Power (the sovereign) targets all the LGBTI+s and anyone it does not think of as suitable citizens and condones a language of hate against them.

By way of using all the legal and illegal means of the state and the government, not only our pride march, but the legitimacy of the lubunya movement is being criminalized and all the LGBTI+s and those whom the sovereign does not welcome as appropriate citizens were targeted and a hate language against them was fostered.

Between 2015 and 2021, 103 people were detained during the Istanbul Pride Marches. This year, more than 3 times and more people were detained than in the past 7 years. We are aware that it is not a coincidence that our pride march hit a record among all protests in the number of detained protests in recent years.

We witnessed that LGBTI+s in İzmir and Antalya were exposed to the same violence as in Istanbul, and unlawful detentions and obstructions were experienced. We recognize this greed and hatred from the ones that pat the backs of islamo-fashist gangs and the ''we will deal with them'' attitude that is reflected on to the public opinion. The Governorship of Istanbul and Istanbul Police, which has a deep connection with these gangs, detained LGBTI+s with torment and inflicted physical and psychological violence on the many in the area.

From here, we would like to appeal to all the segments of the social opposition: The lubunya movement, with its principles and practices, is one of the most fundamental elements of the struggle for a world where everyone can live freely and equally. This is the main reason why the government and its collaborator islamo-fascist gangs have problems with us. This is the reason for the unlawful but legally disguised violence that we were subjected to yesterday. To protect this movement, which is being tried to be excluded, criminalized, and made invisible by organized hate speech is to loudly object to the lynch culture that is organized by the state and to defend the marginalized LGBTI+s in all areas of life, and reclaim and protect our pirated constitutional rights in line with the principles of equal citizenship. We call for urgent action!

And we announce once again: you will not be able to subdue lubunya. The hope, courage, and resistance we carry to each other exceed your prohibitions. We will continue to prove our presence every day, in every field, and every year at our Pride Marches! We're more organized, more effeminate, more trans, and a lot more queerer than you think. RAK RAK RAK we came, we are here and we have no intention of going anywhere. We will continue to resist everywhere, in every field to defend our right to life, until we get our equal citizenship rights.