Did Turkish police unleash water cannons and tear gas on Istanbul Pride because it got too political?

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Video footage of Turkish police firing non-lethal weapons on Istanbul Pride attendees has surfaced on social media.


Along with vehicle-mounted water cannons, police can be seen firing rubber pellets at the crowd.

Another video from Sunday shows an officer firing tear gas canisters at a seated woman.

So, what happened?

Al Jazeera reports that police intervened in an effort to keep Istanbul Pride marchers from getting too close to Taksim Square, an area long associated with dissent and demonstration.


Law enforcement has a history of restricting access to Taksim Square during protests; riot police barred entry to the square during May Day last month before firing water cannons and detaining several demonstrators.

According to Agence France-Presse, today's clashes with police began after demonstrators in the crowd shouted accusations of "fascism" against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.


Al Jazeera notes that Turkish police have never busted up Istanbul Pride like this before, so why did they react this way this time? Is this what happens to LGBTQ people when we stop being polite and start getting real?


In a way, what happened at Istanbul Pride was very true to the origins of the annual celebration. While modern-day Pride parades often feel like one big party, it's important to remember that said party has explicitly political roots: the Stonewall riots of 1969, when patrons of a New York's bar (many of whom were trans women of color like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera) fought back during yet another police raid on one of the few public spaces in which they were allowed to congregate.

Despite facing resistance, Istanbul Pride kept marching.


Bad at filling out bios seeks same.