Duvar English - Reuters
Police on March 8 used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd gathered on Taksim's Istiklal Street to mark International Women's Day, while also detaining 34 people.
The demonstration for the International Women's Day was banned by the government but women were out on the streets despite the ban in Istanbul, Turkey, on March 8, 2020. #8martdunyakadinlargunu #FeministGeceYürüyüşü pic.twitter.com/SQ9ju5EJt9— erhan demirtaş (@erhan_demirta) March 8, 2020
Earlier in the day, Istanbul Governor's Office announced the decision to close down Taksim metro station and parts of nearby Şişhane station and to block all the roads leading to main square.
"All roads leading to Taksim Square and Istiklal Street will be closed as these places are not classified as designated areas for assembly and demonstrations according to law," the governor's office said in a statement.
Heavy police presence and police barricades were spotted across Taksim. Thousands of women gathered in the area nevertheless.
The police formed a human blockade to stop them from entering Istiklal Street, the district's main pedestrian avenue.
#FeministGeceYürüyüşü için binlerce kadın Sıraselviler’de derken abartmıyoruz, ama hala yer var :) Caddenin arka tarafından gruba ulaşmak mümkün. Hadi gel!#8MartYasaklanamaz pic.twitter.com/beQ2NjA0yc— 8MartFeministYürüyüş (@8MartYuruyus) March 8, 2020
The scene soon turned into chaos when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets on women.
A total of 32 women and two men were detained. They were freed early on March 9.
Images on social media showed women being dragged by their hair, as well as being battered by police officers.
Violence against women and femicides are in dire levels in Turkey, with hundreds of women getting killed each year, in addition to thousands who get beaten by men.
Women across Turkey marked the day on the streets, while urging the government to take measures to prevent women from getting killed.