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The Governorship of İzmir has banned the 7th İzmir LGBTI+ Pride Week three days before the week started. As a justification for the ban, the Governorship has referred to “public safety.”
LGBTI+ organizations have denounced the ban on İzmir Pride Week.
Releasing a statement regarding the ban on LGBTI+ Pride Week in the Aegean city of İzmir, İzmir LGBTI+ Pride Week Committee has said,
“The ones who impose these bans should know this: We, the LGBTI+s, have existed since the very beginning of history, and we will exist at its very end as well. You cannot ban our existence!
“No matter how hard you try to make LGBTI+s ashamed of their identities by subjecting them to discrimination and ill treatment, this shame belongs to the government that bans the activities and parades we organize to cry out our freedom and demand our rights.
“Streets belong to us, just as our labor, identity and body. Get used to it, we are not going anywhere. We existed, we exist and we will exist!”
Dokuz Eylül University Equal Lane Gender Research Society has also denounced the ban of the Governorship in a written statement:
“We will continue standing up against the heterosexist, cissexist order that your are trying to impose on us and struggling against the social and political violence that we are subjected to. We know you, we become stronger when you try to block our way. We know that we are right, we will win. Ban it as you wish: You cannot ban our existence. We existed, we exist and we will exist!”
The Lavender LGBTIQ+ Gender Research Group of Ege University also released a statement and denounced the ban:
“We condemn this decision based on several excuses, which also disregard human rights. The ban on Pride Week – by people who are silenced when faced with murder of women, hate crimes, child abuse and hate campaigns carried out on social media for weeks – in which we shout our existence, visibility, identities and non-identities is an evidence to how deceptive it is with the part of ban document that says ‘protection of rights and freedoms’.
“It is visible that we do not share the concerns of who wants to ban us, and recognize it rights and law concepts similarly. We once again shout that we will keep on with our struggle to live freely in these days that one has been stripped away from one’s right to self expression.
“We have existed from yesterday to today and we will xist. We will shut: You cannot ban our pride! Because we come together in a world which loves to separate one and another. We heal in a world which loves to hurt. We sow lavenders for a better world.” (EMK/SD)