Turkish police disperse LGBTQ+ Pride march in Ankara, detain 30 people

Police in Turkey’s capital Ankara broke up an LGBTQ+ Pride march, detaining dozens of people.

Turkish authorities banned pride events across the country for security reasons, but on Tuesday, about 50 people with rainbow flags marched to the city park.

According to organizers, police stopped the group and detained at least 30 people. Some of those arrested were thrown to the ground, and the police allegedly used tear gas and pepper spray.

Nearby, there was also a counter-demonstration by a conservative religious group that considers the LGBTQ+ community a threat.

Turkey has previously allowed pride marches, the first of which was held in 2003, a year after populist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AK party came to power.

In recent years, the government has taken a tough approach to public events from groups that do not represent its religiously conservative and traditional views.

Pride events were accompanied by a large number of arrests and the use of tear gas and plastic balloons by the police.

Last week in Istanbul police broke up a larger annual gay pride parade and briefly detained more than 300 people. After that, all the detainees were released.