As per the call of women and LGBTQI+ assemblies, several women on March 6 gathered in various provinces of Turkey ahead of International Women’s Day and protested femicides, suspicious deaths and violence against women.
The women who gathered in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district chanted slogans of "We do not keep silent, we do not fear, we do not obey," "Shoulder to shoulder against fascism," "Enough with the patriarchal capitalist system" and "Unite, together we will win."
Representatives of women's organizations held speeches during the protest in Kadıköy. Some women lit torches, while some danced in the square accompanied by music.
A press statement was read in Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic.
“We are in the midst of the difficulties that have been multiplied by the economic crisis while fighting against violence to live equally and free. We say that we will be equal, we will enforce the Istanbul Convention. But the AKP government frees the perpetrators it protects. Fearing our strength, they withdrew their signature from the Istanbul Convention,” the statement said.
"We are here as women working at home, we are here as unemployed and poor women, we are here as refugee women who are seen as spoils of war in Ukraine and Syria, we are here as Colombian women fighting for the right to abortion, we are here as murdered women, we are here as LGBTQI+ victims of homophobic and transphobic attacks, we are here as sick prisoners, we are here as Aysel Tuğluk, we are here as oppressed women of the world!” the statement further said.
Meanwhile, the Women's Assemblies (Kadın Meclisleri) announced that some of the protesters were detained as a result of the police intervention during the protest held in Ankara.
Kadınlar Türkiye’nin çeşitli illerinde 8 Mart Dünya Kadınlar günü sebebiyle eylem yaptı pic.twitter.com/Stg5ErEL0r— BBC News Türkçe (@bbcturkce) March 6, 2022
Femicides have reached record levels in the past decade. Some 280 women were killed by men in 2021, while another 217 women were found suspiciously dead, according to the We Will Stop Femicides Platform.
Despite this, Turkey has made moves in recent years to lessen protections for women. In July 2021, Turkey formally withdrew from the Istanbul Convention (the Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence), a move that advocacy groups say was a major setback for women in the country. Many of those that perpetuate gender-based violence or killing are also let off with light sentences.