Turkish riot police unleashed tear gas to disperse a large crowd of demonstrators protesting violence against women in Istanbul, as well as the government’s withdrawal from an international treaty devoted to combating it.

The massive group of protesters, reportedly numbering in the thousands, marched to Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Thursday to mark the ‘International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.’ They met a heavy police presence in the square, which was barricaded off by officers clad in heavy riot gear, who proceeded to fire tear gas on the crowd after ordering it to disperse.

İstiklal Caddesi’nde polis, 25 Kasım Kadına Yönelik Şiddete Karşı Uluslararası Mücadele Günü’nde bir araya gelen kadınlara biber gazı ile saldırdı!

Scuffles with police were captured in videos circulating online, showing officers moving in on the demonstrators to clear them from the area as tear gas wafts through the air.

On the Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, state violence is practiced against women protestors by state Police.

Protesters were also seen carrying a colorful assortment of signs and banners, some even toting flares, while others chanted anti-government slogans and demanded an end to what’s been dubbed by some activists as ‘femicide.’ Some 345 women in Turkey have been killed in acts of gender-based violence so far this year, just shy of the 410 reported in 2020, according to ‘We Will Stop Femicide,’ a women’s rights group.

in the face of intense police presence, protesters gather on istiklal to call for an end to violence against women

Kadınlar Taksim’de;#KadınaŞiddeteHayı

The protest, which was mirrored on a smaller scale in other cities across the country, comes after the Turkish government formally withdrew from an international treaty meant to address violence against women in July. Known as the Istanbul Convention, the pact was originally negotiated in the same city in 2011, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to pull out of the deal has been sharply criticized both by local activists as well as foreign leaders, with US President Joe Biden dubbing the move “deeply disappointing.” 

Ankara, for its part, claimed the convention had been “hijacked” by “people attempting to normalize homosexuality,” which it said was “incompatible with Turkey’s social and family values.” Nonetheless, the government insisted it would not “give up on its fight against domestic violence” and would “continue protecting the safety and the rights of all women.”

Polisin ikinci müdahale anı

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Jennifer Alvarez is an investigative journalist and is a correspondent for European Union. She is based in Zurich in Switzerland and her field of work include covering human rights violations which take place in the various countries in and outside Europe. She also reports about the political situation in European Union. She has worked with some reputed companies in Europe and is currently contributing to USA News as a freelance journalist. As someone who has a Masters’ degree in Human Rights she also delivers lectures on Intercultural Management to students of Human Rights. She is also an authority on the Arab world politics and their diversity.