Turkish women don’t give up after police repression

The women marching in Istanbul, Turkey. Photo by Ezgi Görgü

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Monday, November 26, 2018

Women’s rights activists vow continued resistance after brutal police attack

Police hit marchers with batons and pepper spray on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

WOMEN’S rights activists in Turkey vowed to continue their resistance after a march on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women was brutally attacked by police in Istanbul.

Thousands took part in the demonstration in Turkey’s largest city, which was part of the global day of action with similar events held in towns and cities across the country.

They were demanding equality in Turkey, where organisers said women face violence, inequality, poverty and job insecurity.

However, lines of police blocked the route to Taksim Square, where demonstrations and gatherings are banned.

As they stood their ground chanting: “We are not afraid, we do not obey”, police moved in attacking the demonstration with batons and firing pepper spray, injuring a number of protesters.

Rape and murder of women has increased dramatically, with at least 329 women killed in Turkey during the first 10 months of 2018 while 342 rapes were reported in the same period.

Women are paid 17.8 per cent lower than men, with an unemployment rate of 14.2 per cent, rising to more than a quarter of women aged under 25.

Despite the shocking figures, Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insists that it is impossible to discriminate against women, branding sexual equality “against nature”.

The attack marked an escalation by the authoritarian Turkish state, with the march, which takes place annually, being blocked for the first time.

But organisers remained defiant and said in a statement: “We did not stop and obey the people who wanted to cut down our voices instead of preventing the killing of women.”

“We know the value of our rights, our lives, because there is a women’s movement, women’s struggle, women’s solidarity”, it concluded.

Ekmek ve Gul (Bread and Roses) writer Fulya Alikoc told the Star: “It was an open message from the government — we are not going to allow you to do anything on the streets.”

She said it was women who were bearing the impact of the economic crisis in Turkey.

President Erdogan wants to solve the crisis and its effects, within the family”, she said. “So he and his government try to make women’s right to divorce harder.

“This creates even more violent family life for women who have been first to face the rising prices as part of their patriarchal role to ensure feeding family members.”

Turkey remains one of the world’s most unequal societies, ranking 131st of 144 nations in the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Gender Gap Index.


Turkish police violence against march against anti-women violence

This video from Istanbul, Turkey is about police stopping a march against anti-women violence.

From Globe Post Turkey:

Turkish Riot Police Halt Women’s March Against Violence

Nov 25, 2018

Turkish riot police on Sunday fired tear gas and used their shields to halt an unauthorized march in Istanbul marking an international day calling for an end to violence against women.

The police action, launched after several orders for the crowd to disperse, prevented a thousand demonstrators moving along Istiklal avenue, the main shopping thoroughfare in Istanbul.

Protesters responded by yelling “We will not be silent”, “We are not afraid” and “We will not obey”.

After a tense face-to-face confrontation with police, which lasted nearly two hours, the marchers broke off into side streets to yell their slogans before eventually leaving the area. …

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Gursel Tekin reportedly spoke to the head of Kadikoy Police Department in order to ask permission for the women’s march. His request was denied on the grounds that Istanbul Governor’s Office only allowed certain locations for demonstrations.

Many Twitter users criticized the harsh police intervention at an event that called for stopping violence against women:

Turkish authorities give very few authorizations for public protests, following big anti-government marches that took place across the country in 2013.

Peaceful protests marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women were held in many other cities around the world over the weekend, most of them without police opposition.

“To be a woman in Turkey is to suffer violence from men in all areas of life, whether at work or at home”, one demonstrator, Yasemin Esmer, told AFP.

“We’re here to cry out our feeling of revolt. We are saying we are stronger when united”, said another, a student who didn’t give her name.

Violence against women is a recurrent issue in Turkey, where several hundred femicides are recorded each year.

An association, Stop Femicides, counted 409 murders of women or girls last year, and 328 in 2016.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has frequently condemned violence against women. But associations accuse his conservative, Islamic-rooted government of failing to take sufficient measures to stop it.

Turkish journalist deported from Germany for criticizing Erdogan regime

Turkish journalist Yigit expelled from Merkel-Erdogan press conference, EPA photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Critical Turkish columnist is expelled after 36 years in Germany

A critical Turkish columnist must leave Germany after 36 years. The man, Ertugrul Adil Yigit, says that the expulsion is the result of his protest at a press conference by German Chancellor Merkel and Turkish President Erdogan in September in Berlin.

Yigit is known for his critical approach to President Erdogan. He wore a T-shirt during the press conference with the text ‘Freedom for all journalists in Turkey.’ The action led to unrest and Yigit was dragged out of the room by security.

Problems with residence permit

Yigit says he has lived in Germany for 36 years. His residence permit has been extended several times, but last year there were problems with the extension. According to the columnist, the head of the immigration service in Hamburg promised him that these problems would be resolved. This weekend he has been told that he has until 22 January to leave Germany.

The German authorities say that Yigit is being deported because he has no paid job and because his children no longer live with him. The columnist himself is convinced that the decision has to do with his protest action. He is considering legal action.

A COURT in Turkey has sentenced a journalist working for Syria’s official news agency, SANA, to more than four years in prison for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but indeed exposing the Ankara government’s support for foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists operating inside Syria: here.