End Sexual Harassment and Attacks on Women under Custody!

taciz görselFor some time now, mechanisms of oppression and regulation over our lives go against the life we wanted and longed for. We, women were at the forefront in the Gezi resistance for we were bound and determined to fight for our cause and press forward our demands. In the streets, we were exposed to a brutal form of violence, which we are actually acquainted with: police violence. We lost some of our friends during the resistance and some of us got heavily injured. We discussed for days about the unlawfulness of police violence and the destruction it caused. Meanwhile, government and state authorities such as the Police Chief, the Governor, the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Prime Minister, through their statements, repeatedly revealed that they are taking sides with the police and therefore manifested responsibility for the violence. Even the mainstream media, otherwise overlooking the significance of the events, had to pay attention to the disproportional use of violence by the security forces. The leadership of the Gezi resistance demanded the resignation of those responsible for deaths, injuries and the abuse of rights but state authorities only symbolically dismissed a few police officers and released the murderer of Ethem Sarısülük.

Violence we were exposed to as women, on the other hand, was not limited to these well-documented cases of street violence. We always faced another, an equally systematic form of violence: Sexual harassment and rape. The weapons of the masculine state were directed at us.


In Solidarity with Egyptian Women

women egypt
Women in Egypt had been at the forefront of the revolutionary overthrow of Hosni Mobarak. During the transition period following the revolution, as well as during Mohammed Morsi’s rule, women were pushed out of the political sphere through conservative politics. They were also forced to go back home through sexual attacks in the streets. Those who hold the power in their hands once again chose to attack women’s bodies in order to demoralize the opposition. Women’s organizations have repeatedly stated that the street attacks on women were organized and systematic. The government, on the other hand, remained indifferent to these attacks, did not take any measures against them, and eventually went as far as to hold women responsible for sexual harassment and rape!

At the protests which started during the last days of June against the Morsi government, organized pro-Morsi men have increased the intensity of their attacks on women. Many women have been harassed, beaten, raped, and even kidnapped. Organized sexual violence towards women aims at discouraging women from participating in politics in the streets. Perpetrators know that, when women are in the streets voicing their demands for freedom, they threaten all kinds of authoritarian, oppressive, conservative, masculinist regimes.



Call from Feminists in Turkey!



The opposition to the illegal ‘urban gentrification’ in Turkey was met by heavy police violence and in return an even larger number of people took to the streets.

During the reign of the AKP – one of the most misogynistic homophobic and transphobic governments of Turkey’s republican history – there has been a large increase in the number of women and lgbt murdered. Officials have not taken women’s complaints seriously, and failed to take the necessary precautions, legislation enabling the protection of women threatened by murderers released from prison hasn’t been passed.

Criminal investigations have not been conducted properly particularly in cases of the murder of transgender individuals. The perpetrators have not been caught.



We are in the streets for a life without harassment

tayyipsiz ve tacizsizThe protests, which began against the pillaging of Gezi Park in Istanbul, are continuing with the anger of the people in 76 cities against the JDP government and its representative Tayyip Erdoğan turning into a resistance. This big resistance has echoed with the rebellion of women since the beginning.

We took to the streets against the patriarchal system trying to confine women to families, to houses and leave public space to men. We struggle to be present freely and equally in city centers, avenues, streets and parks.... We struggled against the armored crowd control vehicles and the tear gas of the police, fought in the barricades, organized the resistance in neighborhoods and city squares; we have been on the streets. Now we declare that we won’t leave these spaces we won through resistance.