Thursday, 28 July 2011

Istanbul demonstration in Taksim for women's rights

On Sunday we went to Taksim, a major shopping district in Istanbul. Judging from the shops in that street, I can totally see why most Turkish people I have seen during my week-long stay there aren't fashionable...they have so little choice! There are only a handful of shops which have slightly more fashionable clothes, the rest are all... pretty provincial. 
Anyway, we weren't in Istanbul to shop, so that's okay. What we didn't expect was a large-scale demonstration in the street. The protesters were mostly women, and many were carrying cardboards bearing faces and names of women. Some were bearing coffins and wearing white robes stained with blood. We didn't understand a thing, of course, so I asked a passers-by what's happening. She could only tell me in broken English that it's about women's rights, and it's related to something that happened about a month ago. 
That night, I googled the story and found that about a month ago, a woman and her son were burnt to death by her ex-husband for she was the one divorcing him. Allegedly she tried to get a restraining order but couldn't, and then she was killed. There were many other similar cases in the city, and those women were protesting against domestic violence inflicted on women. Apparently, gender inequality is still prevalent in Turkey, and many men still think it is okay to abuse women. 

Some pictures from the protest: 

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