Turkish police used water cannon and tear gas to clear a gay pride rally from Istanbul’s central square Sunday.
Somewhere around 100 and 200 marchers were chased away from Taksim Square after a police vehicle fired a few jets of water to disperse the crowd.
It wasn’t immediately clear why the police intervened to push the peaceful if noisy rally away from the area.
Istanbul? Who are these “leaders”! Stop attacking innocent happy people who are celebrating this is madness! This is inhumane!
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) June 28, 2015
This year, be that as it may, the timing of the parade corresponds with the holy month of Ramadan, something that could bring traditionalist Muslims to bristle.
Turkey’s Dogan news agency reported that police told crowds to scatter not long after they started assembling, warning them they would not be permitted to march.
The police seemed intent on stopping the crowd assembling near Taksim Square, the cameraman said. Taksim is a customary rallying ground for demonstrators and saw weeks of unrest in 2013.
The group regrouped a couple blocks down the road and kept on moving and chant slogans against homophobia with no further conflicts.
The rally grew to a few thousand people as the day wore on.
While homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey — unlike in a few other Muslim countries — homophobia remains widespread.