Female college students denied lawyers after press statement on violence against women

Three Turkish female college students were denied lawyers while speaking to police after being detained for making a press statement about the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

A group of women from the Trakya University Women's Collective are seen holding a banner and signs in this file photo.

Tamer Yavuz / DUVAR

Three Turkish young women were denied lawyers by police who detained them for making a press statement about the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. 

The incident happened in Turkey's western province of Edirne. 

Three women were asked to give statements to police about the press statement they gave on Nov. 25, Trakya University Women's Collective said. 

"They were told that they were not defendants or suspects, and that their statements were recorded as information notices. Their rights to an attorney were violated because they were told they couldn't request lawyers as informants," a press release by the collective said. 

Police reportedly also accused, yelled at and threatened the women during the "information meeting."

"Our friends were unlawfully treated like criminals," the collective said. 

Turkish police's history with the women's movement is a tumultuous one at best, as officers battered women while detaining them during the march for March 8, International Women's Day.

A small group of women was also detained in Istanbul's Taksim Square on Nov. 25, as police blocked their march and barricaded them for hours, leading to one woman losing consciousness and fainting.