Several hundred women protested outside an Istanbul court on Wednesday ahead of a hearing to close a well-known anti-femicide campaign group.
Waving banners with slogans such as “You will never walk alone!” and “We will stop women’s murders,” the protesters gathered outside Istanbul’s main court to demonstrate against a case to shut down We Will Stop Femicide Platform, one of Turkey‘s leading feminist organisations.
An Istanbul prosecutor had filed a lawsuit in April, accusing the group of “activity against law and morals”.
We Will Stop Femicide Platform campaigns against the murder and abuse of women in the mostly Muslim but officially secular state.
Group representative, Nursen Inal, slammed the trial as politically motivated.
“There’s an organised, massive women’s groups on the streets, and we believe this court case is an attack against women’s struggle for their rights,” she told AFP outside the court.
The association was a vocal critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision last year to pull Turkey out of the Istanbul Convention, which requires countries to set up laws aimed at preventing and prosecuting violence against women.
Social conservatives in Turkey claim the convention promotes homosexuality and threatens traditional family values.
We Will Stop Femicide has organised large rallies in support of the convention.
The platform says 160 women were killed in Turkey this year, many of the murders committed by family members, and this number stood at 423 last year.
“We are under pressure from the government because we publicise name by name each and every woman’s murder,” Inal said.
“This contradicts the government’s thesis which says women’s murder is in the decline.”