First Pride in Istanbul was organized in 2003. It has been gaining tremendous momentum ever since. In 2013, Pride happened in the mids of the Gezi Park Protests, and it played another important role in gathering people of all kinds against the Turkish government's repression. It attracted around 100,000 people. This record number of attendence was also due to the fact that the LGBT community took place in the front lines of the Gezi protests with some well-respected leftist groups such as TKP (Turkish Communist Party). LGBT community gained a ton of respect from the public for their bravery, and courage. There must be a correlation between being LGBT in a country such as Turkey or Russia, and courageous.
Another anecdote from last year's pride. It reads, "Resist! You shall be kissed by.. [Photo of Zeki Müren]!" the word "Diren (resist) creating a rhyme with the last name of Zeki Müren, the most prominent gay musician in the history of Turkish Republic. I'm sure there is a huge lost in translation here. :)
Pride in Istanbul either takes place in the last Sunday of June or the first Sunday of July. Istanbul Pride 2014 started at its usual spot, in Taksim Square, Beyoglu, on Sunday, June 29th. It attracted thousands of people. Here are my favorite photos from this colorful event.
Below, the sign reads "we are transgenders", and can also read as "no turning back" in Turkish. More power to our LGBT community!