«In the past two weeks alone, reported incidents include the appearance of posters in Ankara encouraging the murder of LGBT people; a violent homophobic attack against a group of young gay men in Istanbul; as well as rape, assault and robbery against Kemal Ördek, a human rights defender and founder of the Red Umbrella Sexual Health and Human Rights Association,» the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) spokesperson Rupert Colville said in a press release.
Renewed violence was also found against LGBT people in the Gay Pride in Istanbul, where police released tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse them as they peacefully marched.
Yet it was the 13th edition of the Gay Pride and so far no incidents had been reported. The police attack remains incomprehensible. People denounce the Turkish Islamic and conservative President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It would appear that the government has requested the cancellation of the Gay Pride because it took place during Ramadan. Previously, other LGBT events took place during Ramadan without being a problem. Also, the Trans Pride Week, which took place earlier, encountered no violence.
«Our community is in shock at the harassment we faced during Pride this year,» Yakar told HRC. «There is no excuse for such behavior especially from the police.»
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights «calls on the Turkish authorities to take active measures to combat homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination, to uphold the rights of LGBT people to peacefully assemble and express themselves and to ensure that LGBT victims of crimes are treated with respect and dignity and have access to protection mechanisms and effective remedy.»
«No amount of water can erase the universal values of equality, pride, diversity and hope embodied by the rainbow flag,» wrote the novelist Elif Shafak.