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Istanbul Police Use Tear Gas And Water Cannon On LGBT Pride Marchers

"We are here, we are not leaving, get used to it," activists said on Twitter.

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Turkish Police in Istanbul deployed tear gas and water cannon on LGBT pride marchers Sunday after government officials banned the scheduled parade shortly before it was due to begin.

Officials told the activists that the parade was to be scrapped because of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, parade organizers said in a Facebook statement.

Water cannon, tear gas used on Siraselviler, off Taksim Square. #Pride #Istanbul

"Police [are] attacking tens of thousands of people with pepper spray, plastic bullets, and water cannon," the organizers said.

Polis yerdeki kadına plastik mermi sıkalı birkaç saat oldu.

Video from the scene showed people running through the streets away from the riot police.

Taksim de polis LGBTİ yürüyüşü için toplananlara müdahale etti.

The Istanbul Pride organizers remained defiant on Twitter.

WE ARE HERE, WE ARE NOT LEAVING, GET USED TO IT

Instead of the official parade, people gathered for "small, impromptu celebrations on side streets," according to a local LGBT news source.

Actual @istanbulpride stopped in Taksim. Small impromptu celebrations on side streets #LoveWins

#Pride, on stilts, gliding through Istanbul's winding side streets despite the teargas and water cannons

Lady Gaga was among those showing their support online for the Turkish LGBT community.

Istanbul? Who are these "leaders"! Stop attacking innocent happy people who are celebrating this is madness! This is inhumane!

Governor! Set an example for people to celebrate both Ramadan and Pride in PEACE, instead of dividing with violence! #OnurYuerueyuesue

David Mack is a reporter and weekend editor for BuzzFeed News in New York.

Contact David Mack at david.mack@buzzfeed.com.

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