At least 36 detained after Turkish police march with tear gas in Ankara

Turkish police used tear gas and pepper spray to stop an LGBTQ+ Pride march in the capital Ankara on Tuesday, detaining at least 36 people after authorities banned such marches in cities across the country over security concerns.

Reuters reporters saw police spraying the activists with pepper spray and dragging them on the ground before handcuffing them and putting them on buses.

Turkey Pride March

Turkish plainclothes police officers (right) fight protesters during an LGBTQ gay pride parade in Ankara, Turkey on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Source: A MONKEY / AP

UniKuir, an Ankara-based LGBTQ+ activist group, said at least 36 people were detained.

Police broke up a larger annual gay pride parade in Istanbul last week and detained more than 300 people.

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Thousands used to attend the annual prides on Istanbul’s main Istiklal Avenue, but in recent years the government led by President Tayyip Erdogan has toughened its stance on gay rights.

homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, but hostility towards it is widespread, and police crackdowns on parades have become more severe over the years.