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.
Last year this same government tried to curtail women’s right to abortion but has had to back down in the face of serious opposition by women’s organizations.
The latest chain of events began when the construction work started at Gezi Park in central İstanbul despite a court moratorium on the issue.
The violent response of the police has not ended the protests but caused them to change form and become more vocally anti government.
Throughout its time in office the government has been using legal and financial methods to subordinate unsympathetic media organizations in order to have absolute control of the news agenda.
During the latest protests the prime minister has once again used government controlled media to label the demonstrators as traitors and has also called upon women to bear more children if they really love their country.
We feminists and several women’s organizations have been taking part in this resistance and we call upon you to support us in our struggle.
You can help us by calling upon your governments to consider their relations with Turkey. You could also protest in front of Turkish diplomatic missions in your own country. We suggest using the symbols of the resistance such as gas masks and goggles or alternatively you could simply stand motionless as we do in Turkey every evening.
Istanbul Feminist Collective