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Turkish officials defend journalist's violent arrest at Istanbul Pride march

Eyewitnesses describe photographer Bulent Kilic being shoved to the ground, his hands cuffed behind his back as police placed their feet on his spine and demanded his press card.
HACO BISKIN/Gazete Duvar/AFP via Getty Images

Senior Turkish officials are seeking to justify the violent weekend attack on Agence France Presse photographer Bulent Kilic as he was covering a Pride march in Istanbul, part of a broader pattern of state-incited violence against journalists seeking to document government abuse, rights groups say.

All four deputy interior ministers took to Twitter to push back against the main opposition’s denunciations of the attack, which also saw dozens of LGBTI protestors subjected to police assault. Pride marches have been banned for the past seven years amid an escalating campaign to criminalize Turkey’s remarkably resilient gay community.

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