Istanbul’s Trans Pride March on Sunday was caught in an altercation with a right-wing march scheduled for the same time in the same place.
Hundreds of transgenders and their supporters gathered in Taksim Square in Istanbul for the third annual Trans Pride March.
The march was supposed to start at 5pm, an hour after another march by right-wing groups in the same square to protest about the attacks by the PKK (Kurdish Workers’ Party) on Turkish soldiers.
‘When the trans activists arrived in the square, shouting “solidarity against fascism” with their rainbow flags, a group of fascists holding Turkish flags, started to attack us throwing bottles and sticks,’ said Turkish trans activist Kemal Ordek.
‘Fortunately, no-one was hurt as the [riot] police immediately went in between the two groups and stopped the counter demonstrators to attack us. The same group continued to hold their counter demonstration for a while, insulting and threatening us.’
The Trans Pride March, the finale of Turkey’s Trans Pride Week, started after the altercation and continued along Isitklal Street without any more problems.
Transgender women in Turkey have been subjected to a series of violent attacks. Last year 28 were murdered showing that Turkish authorities had failed to a respond to a 2010 Human Rights Watch report entitled Turkey: Stop Violence Against Transgender People.