Protesters take streets in Turkey on International Day for Eliminating Violence Against Women

Feminists came together on Nov. 25 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in various provinces of Turkey to protest violence against women. 

Protesters in Istanbul unfurl banner that reads, "Perpetrators are at home, at work, in the streets. Women are in joined struggle against men and state violence."

Duvar English

Feminists on Nov 25., the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, protested violence against women in various provinces of Turkey despite repression efforts.

In Istanbul, protesters came together in the Mecidiyeköy Square of the Şişli district. The area was surrounded by riot police and "riot control vehicles" equipped with water cannons. 

People’s Equality and Democracy Party (HEDEP) co-chair Tülay Hatimoğulları and Van deputy Pervin Buldan joined the protesters in Mecidiyeköy. 

Tülay Hatimoğulları and Pervin Buldan of HEDEP joined protesters in Istanbul

The group wanted to march along the Büyükdere Avenue to Taksim Square, which was closed off ahead of the protests in traditional fashion. Police blocked the procession, and the protesters dispersed through another avenue.

Police blockade on Büyükdere Avenue in Istanbul

Protesters came together in the eastern Dersim province and made a press statement. They commemorated Gulistan Doku, a Kurdish woman missing since Jan. 5, 2020, and repeated their demands for progress in the investigation on Doku.   

The banner of protesters in Dersim Province reads, "Organised struggle against poverty, inequality, violence and war."

Police intervened during the protests in the eastern Şırnak and southeastern Diyarbakır provinces. The Diyarbakır Governor’s Office had banned the Nov. 25 march saying it would “disrupt public order.” The office had only allowed for a press statement by women’s groups. 

Protesters convened in central Diyarbakır for the press statement. HEDEP’s women’s assembly speaker Halide Türkoğlu said, “Is it us marching against femicides that disrupt public order? We do not recognize your bans.” 

Police detained three women during the Diyarbakır protests, and broke the camera belonging to journalist Pelşin Çetinkaya. 

Police detained three journalists and many protestors during the Nov. 25 protests in Şırnak. Zeynep Durgut and Ömer Akın of the Mesopotamia Agency and Rozerin Gültekin of JINNEWS were detained, alongside several local HEDEP figures. 

Protests in the earthquake-afflicted southeastern province of Hatay drew attention to women’s precarity in the province following the earthquake. The press statement underlined the ongoing sexual harassment and abuse risk women face in the tent and container towns that relocated to after the earthquake. They also noted that mechanisms to prevent abuse were not functioning. 

The banner of Hatay protesters read, "We will not make peace with your violence. Us women will build a new life!"

Drawing attention to the infrastructural problems in the area, the protesters said, “Women still take on care responsibilities as severe as the first months after the earthquake, as access to schools, healthcare, and water is still difficult.” 

Concurrent protests took place in many provinces of Turkey such as İzmir, Ankara, Trabzon, Ankara, Adana, Antalya, Gaziantep, and Bursa.