Turkey bans gay pride parade in Istanbul, citing security

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The governor of the Turkish city of Istanbul has banned gay, lesbian and transgender individuals from holding pride parades at their usual venue, citing security concerns.

It said Friday that marches departing from Istanbul's iconic Taksim Square would not be allowed "for the safety of our citizens and the participants."

The LGBT community has called for demonstrations on June 19 and June 26, bookending pride week.

Turkish Islamist and nationalist groups have threatened countermarches to stop the parade from taking place.

The governor's office has said other locations for demonstrations have been previously designated.

Istanbul's pride parade has been celebrated every year since 2003 with participants converging in Taksim.

Last year, the march was banned and police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowds.