Raging protests after femicide in Turkey

In several cities in Turkey, women protested against patriarchal violence after the murder of student Pinar Gültekin and demanded the implementation of the Istanbul Convention.

After the murder of 27-year-old student Pinar Gültekin in Muğla, women in numerous cities in Turkey took to the streets against patriarchal violence and once again stressed the importance of the Istanbul Convention. The 2014 treaty aims to curb violence against women, especially domestic violence, and to strengthen gender equality. Turkey was the first country to sign the convention and had it legally enshrined as a "law to prevent violence against women and protect the family". The Turkish government has recently announced its intention to withdraw from the convention, which has led to a storm of indignation among the women's movement.

The platform ‘We will stop femicide’, the women's councils and the alliance ‘Women are strong together’ had called for the protests on Tuesday. In the Istanbul district of Kadikoy, hundreds of women gathered at the Eminönü ferry terminal to denounce the femicide of Pinar Gültekin, a student from Bitlis, and demand the application of the Istanbul Convention. HDP deputies Dersim Dağ and Muazzez Orhan also took part in the action. With banners, signs and slogans, the women made it clear: "We are not giving up our lives, our dreams, our rights, our equality, our freedom, our future and the Istanbul Convention!”

From the ferry terminal the women walked to Khalkedon Square, where a joint declaration was read out. The statement stressed that femicides are a political issue for which the government is responsible. "The government has taken advantage of the pandemic to release violent offenders through the new enforcement law. It is responsible for male violence. It wants to amnesty child abuse and is also responsible for child abuse. It does not implement the Istanbul Convention and wants to repeal it, so it is responsible for every form of male violence that we experience. If the convention had been implemented, Pinar and hundreds of other women might still be alive."

Another protest action in Istanbul took place in Beşiktaş, where Fidan Ataselim, the General Secretary of the Platform "We will stop femicide", spoke and said: "We are angry and we have no intention of taking a step back. Yes, the women have woken up and are disturbing masculinity. This is how we managed to get the Istanbul Convention signed. Are we going to give it up again?"

Further protests took place in Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Hatay, Mersin, Antalya, Muğla and Malatya.