Monday, 21 July 2014

Women’s rights activists occupy Family Ministry building in Istanbul over recent murders

Women’s rights activists have occupied the Family Ministry’s provincial directorate in Istanbul to protest the recent murders against women, calling on Parliament to hold an extraordinary session on the issue.

Around 50 activists representing a wide range of groups, from LGBT associations to trade unions, gathered in front of the Family Ministry building in Istanbul’s central Cağaloğlu district in the early hours of July 10.

The activists then entered the building and unfurled a banner from the second floor window that read: “Everywhere women are being murdered; Parliament, hold an extraordinary meeting.”

They also shouted slogans such as, “Prevent murders, not divorce,” “We are not [just] a family, but women” and “Jin, jiyan, azadî,” meaning “Women, life, freedom” in Kurdish

“If it were six men who were killed by women in the last two days, the state would have mobilized and the government would have taken extraordinary measures,” a public statement by the activists said, highlighting how four women have been killed in the last two days.

Stressing that the murder of women and transgender people should be treated as a political question, the activists called on Family Minister Ayşenur İslam to take concrete steps on the issue, including the preparation of an urgent action plan.

“While you keep talking about family, women are being murdered [in Turkey]. The murders are being legitimized while you keep silent,” the activists said, accusing the government of accepting violence by men toward women.

“We call on the government … to do their duty. We ask for Parliament to hold an extraordinary session regarding the murders of women and transgender people and prepare an urgent action plan in line with the conditions put forward by the Women’s Association for the Prevention of Murders,” the statement said.

The group dispersed peacefully following the public statement.


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