h. nazan ışık —

23 April 2017 —

Madison Avenue and 23rd Street was very colorful on 22 April 2017. Not with flowers, but with orange, yellow, purple, blue, red…turbans.  It was the Sikh Day Parade.  Despite the rain people gathered to celebrate it.


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This parade was important for Sikhs. Because on 28 December 2016 following a graduation ceremony for new police recruits, Police Commissioner James O’Neill announced new rules that The New York Police Department (NYPD) would allow officers who belong to the religion to wear beards and turbans while in uniform.  The new rules affect all religious members. Officers must first get approval and the turbans must be navy blue and have the NYPD insignia attached.

And this was the first parade that Sikh NYPD officers were wearing their turbans and beard.

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Sikh NYPD officer Singh next to another police officer with the traditional police cap, was happy to be able to wear his turban and beard.

Mayor Bill de Blasio came to the platform.

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“Now, I ask you to join me, there are some of our Sikh officers and they will soon be joined by so many more, let’s give them a huge applause to thank them for all they do for this great city” he said.

Officer Singh and 4 other Sikh NYPD officers joined the Mayor on the Platform.  

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People took some pictures.

Mayor de Blasio continued, “I also want to say to you that these good officers and the entire people of New York City just yesterday sustained an insult that we need to talk about very bluntly. There was a document produced by the United State Department of Justice, and authorized by the Attorney General that literally said in writing that the City of New York was, quote –unquote  “soft on crime”.  I said to the Attorney General and the President “Come, look these police officers in the eye and tell them they are soft on crime.”  Because we know they are the reasons that crime is going down in the city. We thank them for it”

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People were listening to the Mayor.

Mayor de Blasio invited someone wearing turban and mentioned that he was attacked for wearing his turban.

“We stand with him and we will not allowed anyone to tear us apart.  I can summarize in a very simple phrase; this city is your city, it belongs to you, it belongs to all of us. And we will stand united every single day.” Mayor de Blasio said.

Photos: © h. nazan ışık  / NKENdiKEN

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