The air still stings of gas, and I can feel it in my throat— I'm taking a quick break from The Little Aegean Road Trip to show you some of the photos I took from the lead up to Istanbul's LGBTI Pride Parade today. We knew it was a bad sign when bus loads of police were arriving in the Taksim area, and when every side street stemming from Istiklal was blocked off by lines of policemen armed with guns and gas masks. Soon, the TOMA vehicles were moving in.
According to the Hurriyet Daily News, the governor of Istanbul made a last-minute decision to ban the parade without warning, using Ramadan as an excuse. In spite of the so-called ban, people continued to celebrate in Taksim's many alleyways, and the mood was festive.