ISTANBUL – Women protested in Istanbul on Thursday against gender violence and sexual abuse on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, defying a demonstrations ban imposed by the state of emergency.
Fifty women attended the protest at noon in Besiktas district, carrying placards with feminist slogans and denunciations of violence.
Feminist organizations have called for brief protests on Thursday in 14 cities in Turkey, all in defiance of the rules of the state of emergency, in force since 2016, which prohibits all kinds of marches or demonstrations.
The police monitored the Besiktas protest but did not intervene and the participants dispersed after publicly reading a brief manifesto against gender-based violence.
The group said that 409 women were killed by men in 2017, while in February alone there have already been 47 violent deaths, denouncing that many of the murderers got reduced sentences.
They also denounced a controversial law passed last year that give Islamic clerics the power to register marriages, which feminists groups fear would allow the marriage of minor girls.
An academic study conducted this year across Turkey showed that two-thirds of people identify violence as the biggest problem facing women, but also exposed a decline in its social acceptance.