Anti-femicide group goes on trial in Turkey, hundreds of women rally to support them

We Will Stop Femicide Platform, a grassroots Turkish anti-femicide group, went on trial in Istanbul on Wednesday, after being accused of illegal activities. If found guilty, the group could be shut down.

Protesters outside the court held banners bearing slogans such as “You will never walk alone!” and “We will stop the murders of women,” alongside the families of women murdered by men.

Hundreds of women gathered outside the court in Istanbul to support women.

We Will Stop Femicide group in Istanbul (Representative image)

Ipek Bozkurt, the lawyer for the We Will Stop Femicide platform, said the femicides were “political” – and so was the trial.

“It is a gesture against the platform which strongly condemned the withdrawal from the Istanbul convention.

Therefore, in our defense, we will explain to the judges why this case lacks legal merit,” she said.

Nearly 300 lawyers from across Turkey have expressed interest in defending the group.

Femicide is the killing of a woman or girl, especially by a man and because of his gender. The group We Will Stop Femicide has been working since 2010 to raise awareness about this problem.

Aysun Kilic, from the bar association in the northwestern province of Kocaeli, said We Will Stop Femicide was conducting a thorough and up-to-date study of murdered women. “It is in fact the duty of the state,” she told AFP.

“While this is the case, we find the trial illegal, dangerous to women’s rights and an attempt to undermine a study into the murders of women. This case harms us and our fight for women’s rights,” she said.

Social conservatives in Turkey believe the group We Will Stop Femicide supports homosexuality and goes against traditional family values.

Melek Onder, another spokesperson for the group, remained defiant. “This legal action strengthens us rather than weakening us,” she told AFP.

“It is impossible to shut down this platform while women are still victims of femicide,” she said. “We’re not desperate at all because we know they can’t stop our fight.”

[ With inputs from agencies]


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Post expires at 7:46am on Sunday June 12th, 2022