Everything was ready for the Pride march which was to take place last Sunday in the Turkish capital, Istanbul. According to The Associated Press, at the last moment, the government canceled the event, invoking the safety of the participants, tourists, and public order.
This is already the third consecutive year that the government cancels the pride march in Turkey. There are right-wing nationalist and anti-LGBT groups that are pushing and threatening the event, but it is the same in Ukraine, for example, where the Pride march took place without incident despite similar groups.
It should also be noted that homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey but that the LGBTQ community is the victim of many acts of violence and crimes.
But the main reason for this cancellation is, in my opinion, related to what has been happening in Turkey for months.
Indeed, the Turkish government is reducing the freedoms of citizens. President Erdogan is making mass arrests of all the opponents. He also closed all media except the government one.
So it is not surprising that a march representing freedom, equality and tolerance be canceled.
The 2014 Pride March in Istanbul attracted up to 100,000 people, one of the largest gatherings celebrating LGBTI rights and diversity in the Muslim world, according to the AP. Authorities have not allowed Pride marches since.