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Turkey: Police break up march by trans rights activists

SMALL numbers of transgender rights activists tried to march to Istanbul’s main Taksim square yesterday, despite a ban imposed by the city governor and security measures by police.

Istanbul LGBTI, which hosted the Eighth Trans Pride March, said on social media that it would not recognise the ban.

Activists gathered in the Harbiye district, carrying rainbow flags, and declared in a live online statement: “We are trans, we are here, get used to it, we are not leaving.”

The organisation also tweeted: “All roads lead to Taksim,” but activists were dispersed by police when they tried to march.

The governor’s office declared the event banned on Saturday night for the second year in a row.

It claimed “marginal groups” on social media had called the march, adding that it was being banned to preserve public order and keep participants and tourists safe.

The ban noted that “very serious reactions have been raised by different segments of society,” referring to violent threats by conservative and ultra-nationalist groups.

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