Middle East

Turkish police fire pepper spray after International Women’s Day protest in Istanbul

Story by Reuters

Turkish riot police fired pepper spray to disperse a group of protesters pushing back against a line of police on Wednesday as a rally to mark International Women’s Day was winding down in central Istanbul.Ist

Women whistled and chanted, “We do not keep quiet, we are not scared, we do not bow down,” as they pushed riot police shields, triggering the tussles with police, while the rest of the crowd of around 2,000 dispersed.

Protesters in Istanbul shout slogans during a rally on Wednesday, where demonstrators called their movement a "feminist rebellion."
Turkish police stand behind a protester in Istanbul, pictured earlier this week, during a demonstration where parts of the crowd called for the government to resign ahead of a general election.

Police had prevented the crowd from staging a march through the city center after local authorities issued a statement saying it would not allow marches, protests or press statements. Local metro stations were closed from early in the afternoon.

“Government resign,” the crowd chanted during the protest. “We are angry, we are in mourning, we are in feminist rebellion,” said a large banner held up at the front of the crowd.

The event was being staged a little over two months before elections which are expected to represent President Tayyip Erdogan’s biggest ever electoral challenge. It was also just over a month after devastating earthquakes in southern Turkey that killed more than 52,000 people.

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