Turkey: Police fire tear gas at women's march in Istanbul

Published : November 26, 2021 17:18 IST

Protesters tried to pull down a security fence during the march. Photo: Kemal Aslan/AP/picture alliance

Police have used tear gas to disperse a crowd of demonstrators protesting gender-based violence in Istanbul.

A group of a few thousand people, mainly women, faced riot police in Istanbul on November 25 while marching to draw attention to gender-based violence. The protesters walked along Istiklal Avenue, a popular pedestrian corridor near Taksim Square. Marchers blew whistles and chanted slogans, including "Government, resign!" They were met with large numbers of riot police, who deployed tear gas when crowds attempted to break through barricades set up at the end of the street.

"Women in Istanbul are out on the streets tonight to protest widespread gender-based violence — and to express their anger at the Turkish government for withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention earlier this year," DW's Turkey correspondent Julia Hahn said on Twitter.

Protesters want Erdogan to go back to treaty against violence

Many in the crowd carried banners, including one which read: "Don't be quiet about male violence." March organizers decried the police intervention as an attack on women and minority groups. Protests also took place in other cities across the country to mark November 25 as being the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Demonstrators urged President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to return Turkey to an international treaty meant to protect women, known as the Istanbul Convention. The convention was established in 2014 and provided a framework to prevent and prosecute instances of violence against women. Turkey left the convention in March, with Erdogan saying at the time that local laws would be used to safeguard the rights of women.

Hundreds of women killed every year

Campaigners and women's advocacy groups are concerned over an increase in violent attacks on women. According to the We Will Stop Femicide Platform, an organization that seeks to combat violence against women in Turkey, 345 women have been killed since the start of 2021. While in 2020 there were 409 deaths according to the group's figures. The group says in October alone, 18 women were killed by men, while 19 others were found dead under questionable circumstances.

kb/dj (AP, AFP,Reuters)

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor