"I would walk around in Taksim wearing a skirt, if you can do that..."
For many Turkish men, this is a common phrase they use when they want to assert a claim or make a bet. The dare turned into reality on Feb. 21, however, when a group of men went to Istanbul's iconic Taksim Square wearing skirts, keeping their word that they have been pledging for the past few days on social media.
On Feb. 17, Erkan Doğan had donned a skirt
in Istanbul's Asian side district of Kadıköy to demonstrate in memory of slain 20-year-old student Özgecan Aslan.
Doğan's individual action inspired social media calls for a massive “skirt-wearing” march over the weekend to show Turkish men's support for women who have been victimized by the recent wave of male violence in Turkey.
The burned body of Aslan was discovered on Feb. 13 in a riverbed in the southern Turkish province of Mersin, triggering a public debate in which a women's supposedly “provocative” attire has been cited as a reason for sexual assault and harassment by several conservative critics.
The record-breaking snowfall during the week in Istanbul
had lowered the expectations for the participation in the planned "skirt march" in Taksim, but a group of men sporting dresses showed up in the square and İstiklal Avenue that connects it to the Galata neighborhood on Feb. 21. Some of them also came with their children.
Here is a collection of photos from the event as shared on social media: