18/07/2023 | Writer: Defne Güzel

İzmir, Ankara, İstanbul, Eskişehir, Adana, Antalya, Muğla, Aydın, Kocaeli, Mersin...

Chronology of Pride Month: Bans couldn’t prevent LGBTI+s Kaos GL - News Portal for LGBTI+

2023 Pride Month events started in June. Plenty of events, pride marches and people who wanted to participated in these events and marches were subjected to violation of rights in many provinces, in June and July. As far as Kaos GL Association was able to reveal, violations led by event bans and law enforcement interventions were as follows:


  • Five Governorships banned events and activities in five provinces, including Eskişehir, Aydın, Kocaeli, Antalya and Adana.
  • Totally five bans were imposed on events, 2 of them by Şişli District Governorship 2 of them by Kadıköy District Governorship and 1 by Datça District Governorship.
  • While the Ege University Rectorate banned the events, METU Rectorate imposed a ban on the march. Thus two ban decisions were imposed by the rectorates.
  • At least 11 protest and events were intervened in by using physical violence. 1 event was prevented. At least 241 people were detained. 5 non-Turkish citizens detained in İstanbul were brought to Removal Centers.
  • Events organized by İzmir Bar Association and Ankara Bar Association were exposed to phobic attacks. And the event organized by the İstanbul Br Association were targeted by the opposed groups.


  • June 2nd, 2023 Ege University Pride Month Picnic

LGBTI+ students from Ege University announced that they would have a picnic for the second time this year, on their social media accounts. Following the announcement 2nd Ege Pride Picni, was openly threatened by some organizations such as Youth Union of Turkey (TGB), Great Family Platform (BAP) Turkish Youth Foundation (TÜGVA) and New Welfare Party.

Police also attacked LGBTI+ students from Ege University, who gathered at Free Platform in front of the İzmir Bar Association to make a press statement regarding the threats. LGBTI+ activists and Bar Association lawyers were beaten by the police. Ege University Rectorate banned the picnic and allowed jihadist fascists into the campus.

  • June 6th, 2023 Film Screening “Diren Ayol” / Üniversiteli Feminist Kolektif

Şişli District Governorship banned the screening of Diren Ayol (Resist Ayol) organized by the Üniversiteli Feminist Kolektif (University Feminist Collective). Women and lubunyas (queers) from university screened the film despite the ban order.

  • June 7th, 2023 Pride Film Screening / BEKSAV

Foundation for Science, Education, Esthetic Culture Art (BEKSAV) Cinema Collective planned to screen the film “Pride” on June 7th, within the scope of Pride Month events. Film screening was banned by the Kadıköy District Governorship. The building of the foundation was blockaded by the police earlier on the screening hour. At least 8 people, including BEKSAV executives and moviegoers, were detained by the police. Detainees were released same day.

  • June 9th, 2023 METU Pride March

11th METU Pride March was attacked by the police even before it started. Despite the police attack, a huge trans flag was waved on campus. Earlier on the march, trustee rector Verşan Kök once again urged all students to “stand against” pride march by sending an e-mail targeting LGBTI+s, just like he did last year. The march was banned by the Rectorate. Police detained 15 people, including 10 students waiting at the taxi stand, by using physical violence. Detainees were released at night. METU students, who were detained under torture, made a press release at the Human Rights Association (IHD) Ankara Branch and told the on-goings.

Annex: METU stairs, which were painted in rainbow colors by the students, were painted in White by the Rectorate. LGBTI+ students of METU painted the stairs in rainbow colors once again on June 5th. 

  • June 13th, 2023, İzmir Democracy University Pride Month Picnic

Colors of Resistance (Direnişin Renkleri) were going to have a picnic in İnciraltı. Police blockade begun on campus and the picnic area hours before the picnic. Police threatened students who were preparing for the picnic. Then they beat and detained two of them. Detainee students were released on the same day.

  • June 13th 2023, Datça District Governorship banned Pride Month events

All the events planned to held within the scope of the Pride Week in Datça, Muğla were banned by the Datça District Governorship.

  • June 14th, 2023 Dokuz Eylül University Pride Month Picnic

İzmir police, who took preventing LGBTI+s’ picnic as a duty, detained five students, who went to Dokuz Eylül University for the picnic held by Colors of Resistance, this time. Following the releasement of detainee students, Colors of Resistance had a picnic by overcoming the police oppression.

  • June 14th, 2023, Eskişehir Governorship banned Pride Month events

Eskişehir Governorship banned Pride Month events, in accordance with its discriminatory habitude, under pretext of “general morality. Eskişehir Pride Week Committee reacted against the ban decision by saying “We don’t obey.”

  • June 14th, 2023, Ankara Bar Association Pride Month events

Patriotic Party (Vatan Partisi), one of the components of anti-LGBTI+ alliance, and its youth organization Youth Union of Turkey (TGB) pointed out Ankara Bar Association Pride Month events as a target. A homophobic group, consisting of about 10 people, gathered in front of the Bar Association at the time of the event and insulted LGBTI+s under police protection. Ankara Bar Association lawyers stood against the group with rainbow umbrellas and protested the hatred.

  • 15 June 15th, 2023, Kadıköy District Governorship banned Tea & Talk Event

Following the bans on watching movies and having picnics, drinking tea has just been added to the list of prohibited activities for LGBTI+s. Kadıköy District Governorship put a ban on the “Tea &Talk” event which has been organized by Lambdaİstanbul LGBTI+ Solidarity Association for years.

  • June 16th, 2023, Intervention in the Press Release of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University / Kuir Baykuş

Earlier on the press release, planned to be held by the LGBTI+ community of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University, Kuir Baykuş (Queer Owl), the banners prepared for the press statement were confiscated by the private security guards. Private security guards intervened in the press release. The participants of the press statement were subjected to physical violence by the security guards.

  • June 17th, 2023, Aydın Governorship banned Pride Month events

Aydın LGBTI+ Solidarity announced that the ban decision issued by the Governorship covered 16-18 June.

  • June 17th, 2023, İzmir Bar Association Pride Month Breakfast

Pride Month Breakfast organized by the İzmir Bar Association was attempted to be prevented by a group people chanting anti-LGBTI+ slogans and saying Allahuekber. It was noteworthy that the number of the police were less than the opposing group and they did nothing to prevent the opposing group.

  • June 18th, 2023 İstanbul Trans Pride March

9th Trans Pride March was back and carried out in Beyoğlu, İstanbul on June 18, the Transgender Equality Day. Earlier on the march, subway lines were closed. Police attacked people gathered in Harbiye, with an unofficial ban on the march. Blockading the journalists covering the march, the police also attacked people sitting in cafes. Unabated police also threatened the shopkeepers in the neighborhood, who reacted against the violence, with detention. Against all the odds, lubunyas gathered and read the press release. 10 people, including a child, were detained. Detainees were released on the same say, after their testimony.

Annex 1: Earlier on the Trans Pride March, the İstanbul New Governor Davut Gül posted a threatening message on Twitter with an emphasis on family.

Annex 2: Brand new Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya defended the police torture experienced during the Trans Pride March, which was prevented by İstanbul Governor Davut Gül’s tweet without an official ban order, by saying “our heroic police”.

Annex 3: Security General Directorate filed a criminal complaint against Green Left Party İstanbul MP Özgül Saki, who followed the Trans Pride March from the very beginning and opposed against the violence targeting LGBTI+s, on the grounds that she compared police officers to “occupiers”.

  • June 22th, 2023, Şişli District Governorship banned the Pride Month Event of DSİP

The meeting planned to be held by the Revolutionary Socialist Workers’ Party (DSİP) was banned by the Şişli District Governorship.

  • June 23th, 2023, İstanbul Bar Association Pride Month Events

A group of people gathered and chanted hatred slogans against İstanbul Bar Association Human Rights Center, which aimed to organize a panel within the scope of Pride Month.

  • June 24th, 2023, Kocaeli Governorship banned Pride Month Events

Kocaeli Governorship banned all the events in the city for 8 days with an announcement titled “Press Statement Regarding the Events planned to be held under the name of Pride Week by LGBTI+ Associations, Formations and Groups”.

  • June 24th, 2023, İzmir Governorship banned Pride Month Events

İzmir Governorship banned LGBTI+ Pride Week events under pretext of “general morality”, in the ordinary way, for two days.

Annex: The Security Branch called the people, who were detained due to participating in İzmir Pride March last year, to testify. 

  • June 25th, 2023 İstanbul Pride March

Closure of Taksim by the police on June 25th, couldn’t prevent lubunyas. 21st İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride March was held in Şişli. Following the press release read by LGBTI+s, the police detained LGBTI+s upon the warning to disperse of the committee. the police also attacked people sitting in cafes, and detained everyone who has something in rainbow color on. Police detained 113 people, including two children and a journalist. Five non-Turkish citizens, who were taken into custody, were sent to removal centers.

Annex: It is revealed that a refugee registered in İstanbul was brought to Urfa. Moreover repatriating the Iranian refugee, who was sent to Urfa, means that they would be at risk of getting death penalty.

Annex: General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums noted that they filed a criminal complaint against activists, who unfurled rainbow flag over Galata Tower on the day of İstanbul Pride March.

  • June 25th, 2023 İzmir Pride March

Hundreds of police attacked LGBTI+ Pride March in İzmir. Blockading the journalists covering the march, police attacked LGBTI+s standing on the street even before the march began. Gathering in Kordon, LGBTI+s read the press statement. Police detained 52 people, including a child and four lawyers, by using physical violence.

Annex: İstanbul Governor Davut Gül went on adopting hate speech against LGBTI+s while announcing the number of detentions.

  • Mersin Pride Week arrived early

9th Mersin LGBTI+ Pride Week was carried out earlier than the day announced in order to overcome Governorship bans. The Pride Week, which was announced to be held between July 24-30 under the theme of “Sığmazam” (I don’t fit in), was carried out one month earlier unknown the police. Mersin Pride Week shared photos created by artificial intelligence on social media at first. Then it announced that LGBTI+s living in the city gathered in company with photos of the events held within the scope of the week.

“Well, will we fit into the roles assigned to us, into those sacred families for the sake of some people who has no aim except protecting their seats and getting richer? Will we fit into identities, languages, beliefs and genders imposed on us?” In addition to talks, a nature walk was also organized during the week.

  • July 4th, 2023 Antalya Governorship banned Pride Month events

Another ban order was issued by Antalya Governorship for the ongoing Pride Month events till July. The Governorship banned 9th Antalya Pride Week.

Annex: A lawsuit was filed against the Antalya Governorship on grounds of the six-day ban decision issued by the Governorship.

  • July 7th, 2023 Adana Governorship banned Pride Month events

Adana Governorship banned all the protests and events planned to be held in the province covering the date of Adana Pride March.

  • July 9th, 2023 Adana Pride March

18 people were detained under torture during the march, planned to be held in Adana. There were three lawyers among the detainees. Green Left Party Mersin MP Perihan Koca was also subjected to physical violence of the police.

  • July 9th, 2023 Eskişehir Pride March

LGBTI+ activists, who gathered in front of the Hasan Polatkan Cultural Center, were forcibly prevented from exercising their constitutional rights by the police. 18 people were detained.

  • July 9th, 2023 Antalya Pride March

Police prevented 9th Antalya Pride March. LGBTI+ activists held a press conference at Education and Science Laborers Union and said “We are together against all the odds!”

Translation: Selma Koçak 

Tags: human rights