Police Homophobia Against Gezi Park LGBT Protesters

Published: June 17, 2013

After 18 days of nationwide protests over the proposed demolition of Istanbul’s Gezi Park, attention among activists and protesters has turned to the increasingly authoritarian rule of the government. With thousands of people injured and hundreds arrested, the police’s arbitrary and violent intervention in the demonstrations is drawing more criticism both nationally and internationally. Over the last week four LGBT activists were detained in Istanbul, with one physically attacked by police and another three subjected to homophobic slurs.
 
Nobody is immune to recent police violence
On Wednesday, three LGBT activists who had requested directions from the police were detained without reason. The activists claim they were subsequently humiliated by the police because of their sexual orientation.

Lawyer for the activists, Türker Vatansever, told kaosgl.org that the police officers ridiculed the activists, one of whom was wearing a chain that read “LGBT Blok” in reference to the LGBT group present in Gezi Park.
 
“Two of the activists say they were harassed by the police due to their sexual orientation but that their claims were not kept on record by the prosecutor’s office,” Vatansever said. “The prosecutor suggested the activists go to executive office of the prosecutor if they had any complaints, and then they were released.”

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