Good Will Note:
On Istiklal
1 July 2014

¶ What lovely news: a parade of over a hundred thousand people sweeping down Istanbul’s Istiklal Cadessi in celebration of gay pride. Istiklal runs from a height above the Golden Horn to Taksim Square, which was blocked off by police with water cannons. It is a pedestrian boulevard, lined with the revived relics of the neighborhood’s cosmopolitan past, as the center of European life in the Turkish capital. It is old and a little shabby, and the perfect place for such a manifestation to begin. (Aydınlık Daily; via Joe.My.God)

Community members, as well their families and loved ones participated in the parade, chanting for the freedom for same-sex marriage and against homophobia. They carried banners that said, “Unconditional Love is Possible.”

Most attendees appeared in the parade in glamorous costumes adorned with the colours of the international flag of the community. The crowd shouted slogans against fascism and capitalism, as well, saying ‘Be gone AKP!’ and ‘Legs up Against Fascism!’ and ‘Down with all the shopping centers!’

The United Kingdom Consulate displayed the LGBT flag on its building near Istiklal Avenue. The US consul, Charles Hunter, also expressed his support for the community: “I am also gay and here I am in the pride parade of the LGBT people.”

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