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2019 marks the 27th year of İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week. This year, İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week will be held from June 24 to June 30.
Organized by a group of volunteers for the last 27 years, this year's Pride Week will also be funded by a crowdsourcing campaign, as it was the case in previous years. Accordingly, the voluntary organizers are calling everyone to support the 27th İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week.
The İstanbul Pride Week volunteers have released a written statement for the press on this occasion and stated the following:
"In previous years, we showed our reaction against the bans imposed on our parades by dispersing to every part of İstanbul with glitters, confettis and rainbow flags and by reading out our statements for the press. We said our words not only on İstiklal Avenue, but at every point where we were and in every place where we could make our voices heard."
Concluding their statement, the Pride Week volunteers emphasized, "We leave neither the streets not avenues, we do not let any fear get us in line. We are here, get used to it, we do not go anywhere."
The Committee for the 27th İstanbul LGBTİ+ Pride Week announced this year's theme as "Ekonomi Ne Ayol?" which roughly translates as "Economy? What's that?" In its statement on this year's theme, the Committee indicated,
"Today's crisis is not a new thing for the LGBTI+! We have been ceaselessly experiencing this crisis every second in the jobs cannot get, in the homes we cannot live, and in our insecure lives.
"We know from our lives that the economic crisis which makes everyone suffer without differentiating between identities is also political. We are aware that we cannot pin our hopes on the economy packages that are announced on TV to maintain our lives. At this very point, we ask to talk about what we need to stand on our feet: Economy? What's that?"
More than 70 events will be held in more than 70 places as part of the 27th İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week. In line with this year's theme, there are also several events that focus on LGBTI+'s relation with economy and handle this relation from different perspectives and in different formats.
Click here for the full program of 27th İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week (Turkish)
Since football commentator Erman Toroğlu said in 2015, "Don't eat hormonal tomatoes, you will become homosexuals', the 'Hormonal Tomato' Awards have been granted to the ones who used hate speech or discriminating remarks about LGBTI+ individuals. When the awardees are announced, the audience boo them, rather than applauding.
Accordingly, this year's candidates have been announced on the official website of İstanbul Pride Week. The awards will be given in the categories of "institution", "civil society", television", "politics", "governorship", "media", "education", entertainment", "place", "international" and "special bi+phobia". This year's awards will be granted at Cemil Candaş City Cultural Center in İstanbul at 8 p.m. today (June 25).
The İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride Parade will be held on June 30 this year. The place where the parade will take place will be announced in the upcoming days. The Governorship of İstanbul previously stated that they would not permit the Pride Parade on İstiklal Avenue in Taksim. It also rejected the Committee's request to hold it in Bakırköy.
The brief history of İstanbul Pride Parade:
The first İstanbul Pride Parade attempted to be held in İstiklal Avenue in 1993; however, it was prevented by the security forces and several people were taken into custody. 10 years later, in 2003, the first Pride Week of İstanbul was again held in İstiklal.
While the İstanbul Pride Week was celebrated freely until 2014, the governor has banned all events since 2015. This year, the Governorship of İstanbul has banned the İstanbul LGBTI+ Pride Week again both in Taksim and Bakırköy.