Turkish Riot Police Use Tear Gas, Water Cannons to Disperse Gay Pride Parade
Riot police use a water cannon to disperse LGBT rights activist before a Gay Pride Parade in central Istanbul, Turkey, June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Kemal Aslan

Turkish Riot Police Use Tear Gas, Water Cannons to Disperse Gay Pride Parade

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.

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.

Turkish Riot Police Use Tear Gas, Water Cannons to Disperse Gay Pride Parade

Turkish Riot Police Use Tear Gas, Water Cannons to Disperse Gay Pride Parade

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