Turkish governor’s offices take repressive measures ahead of women’s marches against violence

Turkey’s Diyarbakır and Istanbul governor’s offices took repressive measures ahead of the Nov. 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women marches. The Diyarbakır governor’s office enacted a protest ban, whereas the Istanbul governor closed central metro stations.

Duvar English 

The Governor’s Offices of Turkey’s Istanbul and southeastern Diyarbakır provinces took repressive measures ahead of the marches planned in the provinces for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The Diyarbarkır Governor’s Office enacted a protest ban for Nov. 25, whereas the Istanbul Governor closed off the Taksim and Şişhane metro stations in the city center.

The Fight Against Violence Network and the Dicle Amed Women’s Platform had planned a march for Nov. 25. However, the governor’s office on Nov. 24 banned the march as it was “against all regulations set up for maintaining public order,” and the route of the march was “unsuitable”.

The statement by the governor’s office read, “Considering the serious indications that public order and safety will be disrupted to bring daily life to a halt, and that it will be difficult to protect life and property safety, right to physical integrity, and public wellbeing, the planned march event is canceled reserving the right to press statement without a march.”   

The Women’s Platform in Istanbul also announced that they would issue a press statement at Mecidiyeköy Square in Istanbul's Şişli district.

However, the Istanbul Governor’s Office enacted a transportation restriction. The Taksim metro station, the İstiklal Avenue exit of the Şişhane metro station, and the Taksim-Kabataş funicular line are closed down from 12 p.m. onwards on Nov. 25. The M2 metro line will pass through the Taksim station without stopping. 

Many riot police and "riot control vehicles" equipped with water cannons were located near Mecidiyeköy Square where the call was made.

The Taksim Square has been home to many Women’s and Pride Marches over the years and regularly closed down on the eve of such events. This particular closure is peculiar, as the major event announced will take place in another district of Istanbul. 

In 2022, Turkish police brutally detained many feminist activists participating in the march and the whole Beyoğlu district was blockaded.