Turkey: Riot police ends women’s day rally with plastic bullets

DENIZ TOPRAK

Participants carry banners and shout slogans during a rally in Istanbul, Turkey, on the occasion of International Women's Day, 06 March 2015.

At least one demonstrators was detained after riot police intervened at a rally in favor of enforcing women’s right in Turkey in central Istanbul.


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A Turkish demonstration in favor of enforcing women’s right in Turkey was broken up by the Turkish riot police with rubber bullets and one arrest.

Hundreds of women participated at the demonstration which took place on Sunday, on international Women’s Day. The demonstrators filled the square in the Kadikoy district on the Asian side of Istanbul ignoring a ban on the march by the Istanbul governor, who had scrapped this year’s rally, citing security concerns.

According to Reuters, at the beginning undercover policemen started shoving some of the demonstrators and later on riot police entered the square and started firing plastic bullets. “We have always said that we would never leave the streets for the March 8 demonstration, and we never will. Neither the police nor the government can stop us,” protestor Guris Ozen told Reuters before the crackdown. “You see the power of women. We are here despite every obstacle and we will continue to fight for our cause.”

According to the UN, violence committed by domestic partners is 10 times more likely in Turkey, than in other European countries. In November 2015, Nuriye Kadan, who heads Izmir Bar Association’s Women’s Rights and Legal Support Office, told Turkish daily, Hurriyet, that the last decade has not only seen the increase in the numbers of women subject to violence, but that the violence itself has become more intense and barbaric, “bordering on torture.”

“A woman who came to us for legal protection last year had been stabbed 42 times by her husband,” Kadan told Hurriyet Daily News (HDN) on Nov. 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. “These women are not just killed; they are mutilated and subjected to additional violence before and after the murder. The dose of violence borders on torture. The so-called third page news on women’s murders include attempts to burn the body, cut it into pieces or decapitation.”

 

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