Turkish police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse a gay pride march in Istanbul.

Police moved in as people gathered in the central Taksim Square with rainbow flags and placards to march down the city's İstiklal Avenue, demanding that people disperse as they gathered for the march.

The Istanbul LGBTI Pride Week Committee, which was responsible for organising the city's 13th Pride march, said the event had "suddenly been banned by the Istanbul Governor's Office using the month of Ramadan as the reason without any announcement".

The committee told reporters that tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon had been used against demonstrators, and entries to and exits from Taksim Square and İstiklal Avenue subsequently blocked to prevent people gathering.

AFP reports that police forcefully dispersed marchers when people began shouting slogans accusing socially conservative Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of "fascism".

The first ever LGBTI Pride march in Istanbul drew only 30 marchers, but by 2013, the same year as the anti-government Gezi park protests, the number had swelled to 50,000.

Though homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey, unlike other Muslim countries, homophobia remains widespread.