Pride in Istanbul

While in Istanbul we happend over the Istanbul pride parade. First we didn’t know what was happening. Just a lot of people and police standing around.

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Then we weren’t alowed to go down the street we wanted to because of all the police with guns and shields. So we went down the next street.
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There were a lot of people and we started to see rainbow coloured  flags, so I realised it had to be pride (as it had been in Oslo the day before). But we were hungry, so we sat down for lunch.
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A lot of people walked past the cafe and I took teir pictures.
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Sometimes parts of the parade walked past us, but we didn’t really understand why. Parades are usually best when it is one big one, not many small ones.
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Most people were happy and determined.
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Then suddenly people started running, tear gas flowed through the window of our cafe and police in gas masks walked past. Not something I see often, so it was a little bit scary and exhiting at the same time.
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News photographers and other important people were also walking around.
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A lot of police. We wondered why there was so much police, there were no people who were violent that we could see.
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Then we had finished lunch and were headed to the spa, so we had to follow all the people for a while.
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Then I had to argue my way through this police line, because we really needed to go down this road. And the police could see that I was just a tourist and let me through. Yay, tourist privilege…
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Just after we had passed the police line, a big water cannon truck hit everyone, including the police in the line. I am happy we missed that.
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We passed a lot of these people, with those red wests. Looks like their from the red cross, but it says police, so?
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Further down the street we found groups of young people who were part of pride. I really like this girl who got a pride flag made into a tear gas mask over her shawl.
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When we arrived at the spa, we didn’t have enough cash, so we had to go out in the crazy again to get more.
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We found more police, more people and some cash.
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We also found a small arm of the parade.
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You can see that very few people were dressed “fabuously”, I think it was just crazy enough to walk in the parade with slogans in Istanbul pride.
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The next day we went back to Norway and then I read that the pride parade had in fact not been allowed that year, for no good reason and what we were seeng was all the people who walked the parade anyway. Very interesting to see the heavy police presence and how the Turkish government is dealing with all the tumults in the country lately. This week they started fighting the ISIS and the PKK and it seems like they are just going to fight everybody instead of trying to be open. Anywhay, it was a dramatic few hours.

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