Tourism in Turkey is a sensitive and an important issue. Reminding authorities in Turkey about the consequences for tourism when promoting discrimination may send a strong message, a source from Istanbul told eTurboNews.
Why is there a concern? It’s gay pride in Istanbul, Turkey. This Asian, European City on the Bosporus has always been a little more open than the rest of Turkey. Turkey is a dominantly Islamic country with a leader many say is conservative and has the power of a dictator. This leader, by all means, is not a friend of the LGBTQ community.
Tourism is an important currency earner, and it’s the city where the world meets. Turkish Airlines has the largest nonstop network connecting countries and cities more than any country in the world.
Authorities siting security concerns wanted to cancel the event for LGBTQ to show pride, but organizers didn’t take no for a solution.
According to the organizers Facebook page, the festival is going on, and many tourists in Istanbul are ready to attend the fun.
In a statement published on the Facebook page of Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week, the organizers said the decision to ban the march was discriminatory and illegitimate
“We would like to inform the press and the public that we will go ahead with our prideful march with the same ambition as we had before.”
Gay pride parades have been banned in Istanbul for the last three years. Although homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, unlike in many other Muslim-majority countries, there is widespread hostility to it across Turkish society.
On Thursday, authorities in the Turkish capital Ankara banned the screening of movie Pride, a 2014 comedy-drama with LGBT themes, citing risks to public safety.
Civil liberties in Turkey have become a particular concern for the West after a crackdown following an attempted military coup in July 2016.
Turkey has detained some 160,000 people and dismissed nearly the same number of state employees since the coup attempt, the United Nations said in March. Of those, more than 50,000 have been formally charged and are being kept in jail during trial.