* Photographs: Yıldız Tar – Ankara / Kaos GL
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With the slogan, "Ban the bans," the 8th METU LGBTI+ Pride Parade was held with the participation of hundreds of students at the campus of Middle East Technical University (METU) in the capital city of Ankara on May 11.
Although the presidency of the university previously announced that it would not allow the Pride Parade, students came together in front of the Physics building at 5 p.m. on May 11.
As reported by Yıldız Tar from the Ankara-based LGBTI association Kaos GL, students chanted the slogans, "Where are you, my love", "Long live the life just to spite hate", "Homosexuals will not stop speaking", "Leg to shoulder against fascism" and "We do not want a homophobic university president."
Before the parade, rainbow flags were hanged on the walls of university buildings. At the campus, rainbow flags and leaflets were also distributed.
The song "Hovarda" (Rascal) by Emel Müftüoğlu was sung in company with a rhythm group.
Although the police initially blocked the way of marching students with a Riot Control Vehicle (TOMA), the parade continued later on.
While METU LGBTI+ Solidarity was preparing to organize the Pride Week and Parade in the campus from May 7 to 12, university administration sending an e-mail to all students stated that "the events won't be allowed".
Stating in the aforementioned e-mail that METU LGBTI+ Solidarity is not an organized formed within the scope of university circular, the administration stressed the LGBTI ban that Ankara Governorship announced on November 18, 2017. METU Student Organizations underscored that "the presidency stated in the e-mail that it doesn't recognize METU LGBTI+ Solidarity."
Making a statement upon the university presidency banning 8th METU Pride Parade and 2nd METU Pride Week events, METU Student Organizations have said, "We do not accept the lgbti+ discrimination, which is the last wave of crackdowns, we declare that we stand behind the struggle for LGBTI+ freedom, which is a struggle for a fundamental human right, and call on everybody to paint the school to rainbow!" (ÇT/SD)