by adam rasmi in


A sign in Arabic reads “Homosexuality is here, get used to it.” (Courtesy Adam Rasmi)

A sign in Arabic reads “Homosexuality is here, get used to it.” (Courtesy Adam Rasmi)

ISTANBUL, Turkey: Pride parades are a rare occurrence in the Middle East. But in Istanbul, it is a decade-old event that draws tens of thousands of participants including, this year, countless Gezi Park activists who joined the resistance-themed procession this past Sunday.

Unlike many LGBTQ parades outside the Middle East, Istanbul's at times resembled more demonstration than celebration. Marching down Istiklal Street, the main thoroughfare of Taksim Square, the heart of the city, participants chanted against businesses known to be unfriendly to Pride or Gezi Park activists. Tensions mounted as supporters passed a small group – about a dozen men, mostly conservative Muslims – who held up banners against the day's festivities.

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