Women march against violence across Turkey
Thousands of women took to the streets across Turkey to mark the U.N. International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Nov. 26.
Rallies marking the day were held in many provinces, while Istanbul’s famous Galata Tower was illuminated in orange color.
Members of the women’s branches of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) gathered at the Saraçhane Park in Istanbul’s Fatih district, holding banners reading: “Nonviolent communication,” “Society grows stronger with women’s empowerment,” “Hear our voice,” and “Do not succumb to rage crossing the line.”
In Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district a group of women also gathered at the Tunnel Square, attempting to march towards Taksim Square in protest against gender violence. Their march was supported by deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).
But riot police reacted against marchers by firing tear gas at them. The police ordered the assembled crowd to disperse, to which protestors responded by yelling “We will not be silent,” “We’re not afraid,” and “We will not obey.” After a tense standoff with shield-wielding officers lasting nearly two hours, the marchers broke off into the side streets to shout their slogans before eventually leaving the area.
In the Aegean province of İzmir, as part of an event named “150 women, 150 rhythm,” several women played drums and wore purple scarfs in protest of violence.
In the northwestern city of İzmit in the Kocaeli province, gendarmerie units distributed leaflets on combatting violence against women during road checks on the İzmit-Kandıra highway.
In the Central Anatolian province of Sivas, members of a number of associations left flowers at the Atatürk Monument for women who lost their lives in domestic violence-related cases.
Violence against women is a recurrent issue in Turkey, where several hundred femicides are recorded each year.
Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu (We Will Stop Femicides Platform), an association that monitors cases of violence against women, counted 409 murders of women or girls last year and 328 in 2016.