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Cast and crew of ‘Pride’ sign open letter condemning repression of LGBT rights in Turkey

Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and more have signed the open letter calling for action to be taken.

By Fabio Crispim

The cast and crew of 2014’s Pride have signed an open letter condemning the repression of the LGBT community in Turkey.

Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and more have signed the letter after a screening of the film was banned in Ankara, Turkey.

According to reports, the film, which tells the story of the Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners movement (LGSM) during the British miners’ strike in the 1980s, was banned by the Ankara authorities because it could “incite hatred and enmity”. 

The news comes after reports of police violence in Istanbul this week during a Pride parade which had been banned for the fourth year in a row but went on anyway.

However, the cast, crew and real-life activists that inspired the BAFTA-winning film have all signed an open letter in response to the movie’s ban and the country’s growing repression.

The letter, distributed by Calamity Films, reads: “Reports that the Ankara authorities also banned a screening of the film Pride are a chilling reminder that political authoritarianism regards artistic expression as its enemy.

“As everyone who has seen Pride knows, it is a love story; a simple but powerful tale of how one community under attack from a repressive government extended the hand of friendship to another community threatened with destruction.

“The bonds of mutual respect and solidarity forged in the 1984/5 strike between LGBTQ+ socialists and mining communities has proved unbreakable. South Wales miners not only led the 1985 Pride march in London, the National Union of Miners was instrumental in winning Labour to a policy of supporting LGBT+ equal rights.”

It continues: “That the Turkish authorities should fear the screening of a film that tells this true story is a salutary warning about the present political climate in Turkey.

“We send our unshakeable solidarity and support to LGBT+ people in Turkey who are now challenging the ban on LGBT+ events in Turkey. We deplore the decision of the Ankara Governate in banning the screening of Pride, and call on the Ambassador for Turkey in London, Abdurrahman Bilgiç, and the UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, to condemn the repressive actions of the Turkish authorities.”