As cities around the world celebrated Pride on the last weekend in June – traditionally, the closest weekend to when the Stonewall bar in New York was famously raided by police – Turkey had its own share of police aggression and violence. The Pride parade, which is an annual event firmly established on the calendar, was cleared by police without warning, who fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon to clear peaceful paraders from the street.

One video shows a man defiantly waving a rainbow flag before he is knocked off his feet by a blast from a water cannon.

Pride in Istanbul said on Facebook that the event was banned without warning by the local government, ‘using the month of Ramadan as the reasoning.’ However, many people pointed out on Twitter that 2014’s Pride also took place during Ramadan, with up to 100,000 people attending without serious incident.

URGENT ANNOUNCEMENTThe 13th Istanbul LGBTI Pride Parade scheduled to take place at 17:00 in Taksim has suddenly been…

Posted by Istanbul LGBT Onur Haftası/ Istanbul LGBT Pride Week on Sunday, 28 June 2015

However, even though the police succeed in clearing the official Pride march, smaller groups formed to celebrate – using the #LoveWins hashtag promoted just a few days earlier, when the US Supreme Court ruled equal marriage legal across the country.

Even though homosexuality is legal in Turkey, homophobia remains widespread, and police protection had been given to all previous marches, beginning with the first Istanbul Pride in 2003. Only days before, the Trans Pride march took place without incident.

Evelyne Paradis, ILGA-Europe’s Executive Director, condemned the ‘unprovoked violation of the right to freedom of assembly’, adding: ‘It is highly regrettable that, while political support for LGBTI fundamental rights is growing amongst the opposition, the government is lashing out against peaceful marchers.

‘As a result of Saturday’s events, we have updated our Rainbow Europe Index to reflect the obstruction of public events. Sadly, we see that Turkey now occupy 47th place out of the 49 European countries included in our Index. This ranking does a great disservice to the Turkish LGBTI activists and their allies who went onto the streets of Istanbul last weekend intending to celebrate.’