Amnesty Calls on Turkey to Allow Gay Pride March at University

London-based Amnesty International called on the Turkish authorities to allow a planned student march at an Ankara University to support LGBTI rights.

Rector of Ankara-based Middle East Technical University (ODTU) banned a student march scheduled to take place on Friday at the university campus. He grounded his decision on the all-embracing ban by the city’s authorities enacted late last year.

“For the last seven years students at this university have marched through their campus in support of LGBTI rights. Rather than banning Pride events, university and city authorities should be supporting and protecting such marches. Students must be allowed to march without fear of intimidation or violence,” Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s Campaigns Director for Europe, said in a statement.

He noted that it is not just this university’s march that is under threat.

“Such bans have been used to reverse a once progressive trend to counter homophobia and transphobia in Turkey.”

 

In the aftermath of the failed coup in 2016, Turkey’s authorities swiftly moved to crack down on cultural activities in support of LGBTI rights.

Late last year, Ankara governor banned a German gay films festival in the city. He later moved to prohibit all LGBTI-related activities from taking place, citing the state of emergency.

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