In the wake of the Gezi Park protests against the Turkish government last month, Istanbul held its pride parade. The pushback against government encroachments on personal freedom, which drove many of the protests, also contributed to increased participation in the pride parade.
Text and photos: Oren Ziv, Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org
A protester dressed as tree in solidarity with demolition of Gezi Park, takes part in the annual pride parade, Istanbul. Photo by: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org
This year’s Turkish Pride Parade was much bigger than previous years as many activists and political groups joined as part of the ongoing actions and demonstrations against the government. Many activists in the LGTB and queer community took part in the demonstrations last month, directing their protests against new laws initiated by Prime Minister Erdoğan, aimed at placing more limitations on personal freedom.
The march started at Taksim Square near Gezi Park, which has been closed since its violent eviction on June 15. Since the eviction, not even one demonstration took place that did not encounter violent dispersal by Turkish police forces. The parade was the first public gathering that calmly dispersed, without a police attack.
A man waves the Turkish flag as people gather in Taksim Square, at the beginning of the annual pride parade, Istanbul. Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org
A protester wearing a gas mask shouting slogans as the crowd marches through Istiklal St. Photo by: Shiraz Grinabum/Activestills.org
Thousands marched on Istiklal Street, the main pedestrian shopping area stemming out of Taksim Square, shouting anti-government slogans. Slogans full of contempt targeted shopping malls owned by relatives of Erdoğan, something protesters said represents the growing corruption of his regime.
At the end of the parade, a small group marched back to Taksim Square and protested there but riot police blocked their path into the park. An after party was held until late hours of the night, on a roof over looking Gezi Park.
People sitting as part of a gathering during the parade. Photo by: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org
Two protesters dance during the parade. Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org
A drumming group marches through the parade. Photo by: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org
A woman holding a poster with Ahmet Yildiz’s picture, during the Pride Parade. Yildiz was shot leaving a cafe near the Bosphorus. Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org
A protester shouting slogans while marching inside the pride flag. Photo by: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org
Two protestors holding hands during the parade. Photo by: Shiraz Grinbaum/Activestills.org
Two men kissing in Taksim Square as police line up to prevent protestors from re-gathering after the march. Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org
A street dog barking at anti riot policemen, as they block Taksim Square. Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org
People dance during the official after party of the parade. Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org
The after party took place on a roof overlooking Taksim Square and Gezi Park, which has been closed to the public since the protest camp was evicted. Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org
A couple kisses during the after party of the parade. Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org
A man dressed as a tree sits at the end of the official parade after party. Photo by: Oren Ziv/Activestills.org