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Turkish police break up LGBTQ+ Pride march in Ankara, detain 30 people

Police in Turkey’s capital Ankara has broken up an LGBTQ+ Pride march, detaining dozens of people.

Turkish authorities have banned Pride events across the country for security reasons, but around 50 people holding rainbow flags marched toward a park in the city on Tuesday.

Police officers halted the group and detained at least 30 people, according to organisers. Some of those arrested were forced to the ground, while police allegedly used tear gas and pepper spray.

A counter-demonstration was also held nearby by a conservative religious group, who regard the LGBTQ+ community as a threat.

Turkey had previously allowed Pride marches to take place, with the first held in 2003, the year after populist President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his AK party came to power.

In recent years, the government has adopted a harsh approach to public events by groups that do not represent its religiously conservative and traditional views.

Large numbers of arrests and the use of tear gas and plastic pellets by police have accompanied Pride events.

Last week in Istanbul, police dispersed a larger annual Pride march and briefly detained more than 300 people. All of those detained have since been released.

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