A youth group loyal to Turkey’s ultra-nationalist and conservative Great Union Party has vowed to do whatever is necessary to prevent Istanbul’s annual gay pride parade from proceeding. Reports Al Jazeera and Hurriyet Daily News.
In a news conference a leader of the Alperan Hearths, the youth group making the threats, demanded that officials prevent the parade from occurring, saying that they are willing to take necessary risk and “directly prevent the march” themselves.
Kursat Mican, the group leader making the threats, continued by calling those who participate “degenerates” and saying that they have made their warnings and “are not responsible for what will happen after this point”. This is the second group this week to make threats to prevent the Pride Parade from continuing.
The parade is part of Istanbul’s larger Pride Week that takes place from June 20th to 26th. The celebration, which drew almost 100,000 people in 2013, has been held annually since 2003. However, last years event was shut down by police just hours before it was set to begin due to fear that other groups might react to it.
Additionally, a senior official in Istanbul’s government has said that the governance has yet to receive an official request to hold the pride event, which is required for any large public gatherings.