Women defy police and government forces, march in Istanbul on women’s day

Women also gathered in different parts of Istanbul to march and cover the entire city with women’s demonstrations. As of this writing, the women were still trying to reach the Taksim Square, fighting with the police along the way.

Women defy police and government forces, march in Istanbul on women’s day

The government and Istanbul governor tried banning the traditional women’s march on women’s day in Istanbul, Turkey.

What they could not fathom was the determination of women to own up to the women’s day and their insistence on celebrating it as a demonstration of freeing women from traditional patriarchy. This has become more important I recent years as Turkey slips more into an oppressive male dominant Muslim society under the Islamic AKP government.

The government told women’s organizations that the central Taksim Plaza in Istanbul was closed to all demonstrations and gatherings. Then they erected police barriers around the neighborhoods to prevent any marches into the plaza. When they understood that the women were not listening and were still planning on marching through the Istiklal Caddesi, the central street for pedestrians only, the governor shut down the metro and other mass transit rail and buses trying to prevent participation in the “illegal” women’s march.


None of these were enough to stop the women claiming the streets on the women’s day though.

Gathering at a nearby street, the women started the march against all police intimidation. The theme and statements reflected an answer to the establishment, “We have no intention of stepping back!”

At 7:00PM local time, the women started their march towards the closed Taksim Square. However, they were met with the police barricades at Sıraselviler district. When the women did not even hesitate, and dived into the police blockade, the police had to step back and actually lifted two of the barricades because they were useless against the women marching through them anyway. In the scuffles, the police attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets.

After Sıraselviler, the women turned towards the Kadıköy district and refused to change their plan to reach the Taksim Plaza. However, the government had the entire plaza area under heavy police control protected by armored vehicles and thousands of armed officers. All metro entrance gates were also shut down by the government. The tunnel train between Taksim and Kabataş was also closed under the fear that women may try to get to the march.

As the police attack the women, there are reports of them using violence against the marching women. As of this writing, around 24 women were detained including two journalists.

Women also gathered in different parts of Istanbul to march and cover the entire city with women’s demonstrations. As of this writing, the women were still trying to reach the Taksim Square, fighting with the police along the way.

Sendika.org News (M.B.)