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Turkey violently breaks up a protest against violence against women

Turkish special forces used tear gas to disperse a large crowd of demonstrators protesting against violence against women in Istanbul, as well as the government’s withdrawal from an international treaty dedicated to combating it.

According to Turkish media reports, thousands of people, mostly women, marched into Taksim Square in Istanbul on Thursday evening. This is how people celebrated the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.”

Protesters carried posters and banners and chanted anti-government slogans demanding an end to the “killings of women”:

  • 345 women in Turkey have been killed as a result of gender-based violence this year, and 410 Turkish women have died in 2020.

However, the square was barricaded by police and special forces. The security forces fired tear gas into the crowd, ordering the marchers to disperse. Videos of the scuffle with the police spread across the Internet. They show how officers approach the demonstrators to push them away from the square, and tear gas vapors swirl above the crowd.

On the same day, protests took place in other cities in Turkey, as in July the government formally withdrew from an international treaty aimed at combating violence against women.

Known as the Istanbul Convention, the pact was signed in 2011, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan decided to withdraw from it, which was heavily criticized by both local activists and foreign leaders, and US President Joe Biden called the move “deeply disappointing.”

Ankara, for its part, stated that the convention was “initiated by people trying to normalize homosexuality,” which is “incompatible with Turkey’s social and family values.” Nonetheless, the government insisted that it “will not abandon its fight against domestic violence” and will “continue to defend the safety and rights of all women”.

By the way, we will remind, in Turkey for several days do not stop protests demanding the resignation of Erdogan’s government due to the sharp collapse of the lira.

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