11/26/2019, 10.38
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Istanbul, rubber bullets used on women marching for Day against Violence

At least 2 thousand people demonstrated in the Taksim district. Women demanded the "end of impunity" in feminicide cases. In the first nine months of 2019 at least 347 women killed. 440 victims were registered last year. The Turkish judicial system, which does not punish those responsible, is targeted.

Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Turkish police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the demonstration yesterday of 2,000 people, mostly women, in the Taksim district of Istanbul, the country's economic and commercial capital.

Activists and ordinary citizens took to the streets yesterday, to coincide with the World Day against Violence against Women, established on 17 December 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly.

According to reports from the Turkish media, law enforcement agencies blocked access to Istiklal avenue, to prevent further demonstrations on the streets. The women had promoted the demonstration, to seek an "end of impunity" for those guilty of these crimes.

The protesters, at least 2 thousand according to initial reports held banners and signs with the words "end to impunity". Still others showed signs written with the names of women killed in cases of domestic violence, by partners or by ex-partners who never accepted the end of the relationship.

A survey recently published by the Umut (Hope) foundation, at the forefront of promoting arms control in Turkey, shows that in early 2019 at least 347 women were killed in targeted attacks against women. The number of victims rises to 425 because, in some cases, the attackers have also struck and killed relatives; 200 the wounded.

20.6% of the murders were committed with a rifle, 28.1% with a gun, while in 27.6% the deaths occurred with blows by another weapon. Furthermore, in 23.6% of accidents, women were strangled or beaten to death. Most victims were counted in Istanbul (66). The only provinces that have not registered "feminicides" are Artvin, Bayburt, Gümüşhane, Karabük, Muş, Siirt, Sinop and ırnak.

Local sources report that after a peaceful start, the march was headed for Istiklal Avenue, a crowded commercial area where the police in riot gear immediately intervened. The agents used force to disperse the crowd. A photographer from the AFP agency says he saw an agent shoot tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

Ayse Baykal, a teacher by profession, says he joined the demonstration to protest against "the enemies of women" and "an end to murders". The 25 year old Ozge Cekcen adds that "the murder of women in our country has grown exponentially and society, in general, tends to silence us".

Official statistics speak of 440 women killed in "femicide" cases last year. The figure was 121 in 2011. Activists and women's groups accuse the Turkish judicial system of imposing penalties that are too light for those guilty of violence.

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