Statement on Istanbul Pride Parade

As delivered by Ambassador Daniel B. Baer to the Permanent Council
Vienna, July 10, 2014

We are pleased to note that on Sunday, June 29, thousands peacefully participated in the Istanbul Pride Parade, marking the end of 10 days of successful LGBT pride events that included a Trans-Pride parade as well. The parade began at 5:00 p.m. and officially ended at around 8:00 p.m., although celebration continued in the area well into the night. The mood was lighthearted, with no reports of violence or police intervention.

We understand that local authorities worked with organizers to facilitate the parade. Organizers said they believed the crowd to have been over 100,000 people, with rooftop photos of the parade showing marchers as far as could be seen.

The United States commends the Government of Turkey for protecting the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly for the participants of this event, and for demonstrating leadership in that regard in combating all forms of discrimination.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.