On March 4, Turkish protesters were on the streets of Ankara, Turkey, for the advancement of women’s rights and were met with arrests and tear gas.
At a gathering ahead of International Women’s Day, which is on March 8, the marchers ignored calls to disperse their protests. This was not taken well by the riot police, as the protests were dealt with force. The force included the arrest of several women protesters and tear gas being fired at the crowds.
15 protesters, all women, were detained, according to The Japan Times. 1,500 women organised in Istanbul in Bakirkoy district on the European section of the society alone. It was a joint protest against the government of Turkey and its leadership’s decisions, especially those of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been a subject of continual controversy nationally and internationally on a variety of topics and decisions, and actions.
Hurriyet Daily News reported that the rioters were mostly from the Ankara Women’s Platform (AWP), a non-governmental organisation devoted to the promotion of women’s rights. These were women’s rights campaigners and activists who were met with tear gas and arrested after refusing to disperse on the demands of the riot police.
One banner raised by the marcher’s said, “We are getting stronger in solidarity.”
The AWP was protesting the opposition to the Turkish military campaign in Syria. President Erdogan considers these people terrorists in Turkey.
One woman in talking to the AFP said, “There is a war on our border. We cannot remain indifferent.” Protests by women rights activists and campaigners are not new in Turkey. There is a noble and honourable tradition that deserves international praise. There was a protest as recent as last summer over dress codes in Turkey
This is the continuance of resistance to the restrictions of and violence of the current leadership of the country.