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.

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.

The scene soon turned into chaos when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets on women.

Demonstrators hold pictures of women killed by men in Turkey during the International Women’s Day rally in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş.

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.

Activists take part in a rally for gender equality and against violence towards women on International Women’s Day in Diyarbakır.
Activists take part in a rally for gender equality and against violence towards women on International Women’s Day in Istanbul.