Turkish court issues arrest warrants for 25 women in Izmir

Twenty five women were called in for a statement while another nine were detained following Sunday’s demonstration against sex-based violence in Turkey’s third-largest province Izmir, women’s organisations announced on Monday.

Istanbul-based watchdog We Will Stop Femicides announced the arrest warrants on Twitter.

“After the #LasTesis protest by thousands of women in Izmir yesterday, arrest warrants were issued for 25 women today and they were called in for a statement. You can’t stop thousands, millions of women,” the watchdog said, with the hashtags “Stop Murderers Not Women” and “You Will Never Walk Alone.”

Meanwhile, feminist group Nar Women’s Solidarity announced  the detention of nine others.

“Nine women who attended the #LasTesis Izmir demonstration were taken into custody from their homes. You cannot stop women’s rebellion to live free and without fear that shook the earth,” Nar tweeted, with the hashtag “Stop Murderers Not Women.”

Turkish police had intervened in two other women’s demonstration in Istanbul and Ankara, where women gathered to sing “A rapist in your path/Un violador en tu camino,” a song by the Chilean feminist collective Las Tesis that has inspired worldwide protests by women against sex-based violence.

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu defended the police intervention and the use of tear gas, as well as the detentions.

“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?” the minister said, referring to the lyrics.

Opposition lawmaker Sera Kadıgil said Turkey became “the only country that requires parliamentary immunity to perform this dance,” as women lawmakers performed the song in a parliamentary session.

Over four hundred women have been killed by men, most of them intimate partners, since the start of the year in Turkey.

Rights groups call for better enforcement of laws to prevent violence against women, including the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, bettter known as the Istanbul Convention, and Turkey's own Law No. 6284 on the Protection of Family and Prevention of Violence Against Women.