Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin has
banned an LGBT Pride march scheduled to take place on Sunday.
Sahin, who oversees Turkey's most
populous city, cited security concerns in making his announcement.
Istanbul's LGBT march is considered to
be the largest in the Muslim world. Authorities cited similar
concerns in blocking last year's event.
Last week, the ultra-nationalist
Alperen Hearths group threatened the marchers.
“If the state allows it, we will
Kursat Mican, who helms the group's Istanbul chapter. “We will
not allow them to walk. Wherever they march, we'll also go. We will
close down that street and they will not be able to go there.”
During a television interview aired on
Cultural TV, Mican claims that LGBT activists were organizing to
prevent heterosexuals from reproducing: “By popularizing
homosexuality, they want to destroy the unity of family, stop
reproduction, end relations between wives and husbands, and prevent
children born in such relations from growing up to be propitious to
their land and country,” he said.
Organizers behind Sunday's planned
march in Taksim Square released a statement headlined: “We are
Marching, Get Used to it. We are Here, Not Going Away.”