Female deputies of main opposition party perform Las Tesis dance at parliament

Female members of parliament for the main opposition Republican People's Party performed the feminist protest song and dance “Las Tesis” at the parliament after similar protests were broken up by police intervention, Gazete Duvar reported on Saturday.

Las Tesis, which originated in Chile, has quickly spread around the world this year and Turkish women readily welcomed the feminist song as gender-based violence hits a record high in the country.  

Earlier, police intervened in two Las Tesis protests in Turkey's largest city Istanbul and the capital of Ankara, using tear gas and detaining several women. The song says police, political leaders and the state share the blame for violence against women. 

“Well forgive me, but when those dancing women call the state, police and judges ‘rapists’ and ‘killers’, how are we supposed to deal with this,” Turkey's Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said in support of the police intervention.

"There is a dance, that started in Chile, to draw attention to violence against women all over the world. Its name is Las Tesis. Due to your actions, Turkey becomes the only country that requires parliamentary immunity to perform this dance," Gazete Duvar quoted CHP deputy  Sera Kadıgil as saying.

The killing of Emine Bulut, who was stabbed by her ex-husband in front of their daughter and the murder of a 20-year-old university student, who was stabbed to death by an escaped convict earlier this month in northern Turkey, has sparked a public outcry and brought greater attention to the issue of femicide.

Some 403 women have been murdered by men in Turkey since the start of the year, according to femicide watchdog Anıt Sayaç by We Will Stop Femicides Platform.

Turkey in 2011 became the first country to sign and ratify a Council of Europe convention on preventing domestic violence, but gender-based violence remains a widespread problem in Turkey.