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Thousands Participated Istanbul’s Gay Pride March

Thousands participated in the annual Turkish Gay Pride Parade, They demanded gay rights and acceptance.

CNN reports:

Thousands of Turks marched through Istanbul in a demonstration calling for improved rights and greater social acceptance for the country’s homosexual community.

Activists say the annual Turkish Gay Pride Parade, now in its ninth year, is the only march of its kind in a majority-Muslim country. Several thousand supporters of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights carried signs and rainbow flags as they made their way down one of Istanbul’s busiest pedestrian thoroughfares.

Participants chanted slogans against harassment and blew whistles, waved large rainbow flags and carried signs in Turkish and English that sported messages like “We’re everywhere, get used to it” and “Dance, dance, against homophobia, dance.”

Other signs referenced Ahmet Yildiz, a 26-year-old who was shot to death in Istanbul in 2008. Yildiz’s father has been accused of traveling almost 600 miles to shoot him in what has been called an “honor killing.”

Hurriyet News adds:

Independent Istanbul deputies from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, also lent their support to the demonstration.

?We demand the addition of the clause ?sexual orientation and identity? to anti-discrimination laws, as well as to the 10th article of the Constitution which oversees the principles of equality, [in addition to] union rights for sex workers and the legislation of a Hate Crimes Law,? read the press release issued at the event, according to Do?an news agency, or DHA.