AFP photographer detained at Istanbul Pride march

AFP photographer detained at Istanbul Pride march
Turkish security forces have detained a photographer for AFP who was covering the pride event in Istanbul.
1 min read
Police were seen kneeling on the photographer [Getty]

An AFP photographer was detained by Turkish security forces on Saturday while covering a Pride march in Istanbul that had been banned by authorities, witnesses and press freedom campaigners said.  

AFP was in contact with Turkish authorities demanding the release of Bulent Kilic, an award-winning photographer. 

The Turkish branch of campaign group Reporters Without Borders also called for Kilic to be freed. 

"We condemn the detention of AFP reporter Bulent Kilic who was covering the Pride march in Taksim," RSF said, referring to the central Istanbul district where protesters had gathered to demand better rights for LGBTQ people.

"We demand his immediate release," the tweet added.

Images on social media showed Kilic being held on the ground by officers, who were pressing down on his body with their knees. 

According to activists, security forces detained several of the protesters who had gathered in Taksim, a district which has traditionally hosted Pride marches. 

After a spectacular Istanbul Pride parade in 2014 joined by more than 100,000 people, Turkish authorities have banned the march in recent years, officially for security reasons.

LGBTQ groups accuse the Turkish government of waging a "hate campaign" against them, encouraging violence against a vulnerable community.