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Amnesty International calls for Turkey to allow a student Pride march to take place

The students at the Middle East Technical University have held a Pride march for the last eight years

2019-05-08

Words: Steve Brown

Amnesty International have called for Turkey to allow a student Pride march to take place this week.

The Pride march at the Middle East Technical University, in Ankara, Turkey, was scheduled to be held on Friday (May 10) for the ninth year running as a way for students to celebrate diversity and demand equality.

However, Turkish authorities banned the students form holding the annual Pride celebration despite lifting the ban on Pride events last month after it was implemented in November 2017 due to ‘public sensitivity’.

And now, Fotis Filippou, Amnesty International’s campaigns director for Europe, has called for Turkey to allow the student Pride to go ahead.

Filippou said: ““For the last eight years students at this university have marched through their campus to celebrate Pride and demand equality and dignity for LGBTI people.

“It is celebration of love which sends a message of hope to all those struggling to uphold fundamental rights in Turkey and beyond.

“Rather than banning Pride events, the university should be supporting and protecting such marches and challenging homophobia and transphobia.

“The Rectorate must reverse its decision and allow students without fear of intimidation or violence.”