Turkish police break up LGBT pride parade in Istanbul

Turkish police have used tear gas and water cannon to disperse activists trying to hold a pride parade in central Istanbul, a week after the city’s governor banned the event.

Authorities say the parade Sunday was banned because it would disturb public order. Activists say the ban was imposed to appease conservative Muslims.

A few hundred people who gathered in the central Taksim Square dispersed quickly after being hit by tear gas and water cannons.

Activists said police used tear gas and water cannons when they tried to break through the police line to reach the heart of Istanbul’s gay-friendly neighborhood, Istiklal Street.

The annual parade was held successfully in Istanbul for the past three years.