Women march against rising tide of attacks and verbal abuse

Hundreds of women gathered for a protest march in Istanbul on Saturday. They were protesting against the violence and animosity they face from men demanding they dress more conservatively.

The march, dubbed “Don’t Mess With My Outfit,” started in the Kadıköy district on the Asian side of the city. Women chanted slogans and carried denim shorts on hangers as examples of the type of clothing some men say they find unacceptable.

We will not obey, be silenced, be afraid. We will win through resistance,” the crowds chanted, holding up posters and LGBT rainbow flags.

The women say that in recent year in Turkey, there has been an upsurge in the number of verbal and physical attacks against them for their choice of clothing.

In June, a young woman, Asena Melisa Sağlam, was attacked by a man on a bus in Istanbul for wearing shorts during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Video of the incident showed the man hitting her while the bus driver watched.

Are you not ashamed of dressing like this during Ramadan?” the footage showed the man saying.

In another incident, Canan Kaymakçı, was harassed on the street in Istanbul when a man accused her of wearing provocative clothing, saying she should be careful because she was “turning people on.”

Another woman, Ayşegül Terzi, was called a “devil” and kicked by a man on a public bus, also for wearing shorts. Footage showed the man telling her that those who wear shorts “should die.


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