Turkish women flock to Istanbul’s center to demand greater rights, denounce violence
ISTANBUL – Agence France Presse
Thousands of Turkish women on March 8 flocked to central Istanbul for this year’s International Women’s Day demonstration, with the aim of demanding greater women’s rights and denouncing violence against women.
The protesters, many of them clutching colorful umbrellas to ward off the rainy weather, easily filled the city’s iconic and pedestrianized İstiklal Avenue.
There was also a heavy police presence, which included female officers. Earlier in the day, security forces had set up barricades around Taksim Square, which marks the eastern end of the street. But the rally was allowed to proceed peacefully.
The women chanted slogans including: “We are not silent, we are not scared, we are not obeying” and “Women are strong together.”
Women’s rallies were also held in Ankara and the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.
According to the Platform to Stop the Murders of Women group, 339 women were killed in Turkey in 2017 and 76 so far this year.
“The situation of women in Turkey is much below average. There is no freedom, not only for women but for anyone,” said one protestor.
“Despite that we are hopeful. That’s why we are here,” she added.
“The world would move if women had freedom. But they don’t let us be free. Every day there is pressure, pressure. We have had enough,” added Türkan Gezmiş.
“The situation of women here is a disgrace. It is getting worse,” she added.