* Photograph: Elif Akgül - bianet
Women and LGBTIs gathered at Tunnel square in Beyoğlu, downtown of İstanbul on November 25, the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The group that came together at 6 p.m. marched with the slogans "Women are stronger together, we don't remain silent, we are not afraid, don't obey", "mountains would move if women/faggots were free", to Odakule center that is on the halfway between the beginning and the endpoints of Beyoğlu street.
When the police blocked the march and did not allow the women and LGBTIs to proceed, the group marched back to Tunnel square.
Banners reading "We don't obey to male-state violence" and "We don't give up on neither our lives nor our fight" as well as rainbow flags were carried through the march.
Night march took place despite all attempts to prevent the march.
Since midday, Beyoğlu street had been closed by police and barricades. Also woman police officers were on duty during the whole day.
At first, the police said that the night march had been banned by the Sub-Governorship and therefore did not allow the group to proceed. With applauses, ululations, marching bands and drums, the Women and LGBTIs waited for the negotiations to end.
The march started following the negotiations and the group proceeded to Odakule until being blocked by the police and marched back to Tunnel square where the demonstration ended.
"We have been protesting against oppression for over a year"
* Photograph: Hüseyin Aldemir
November 25 platform made a press statement at the demonstration that was read out in Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic.
Özengül Ergün reading out the press statement in Turkish addressed in particular the issues of
*Increasing state violence, fascism and oppression
*State regulations with regards to divorce and birth control
*Violence against women and LGBTIs, impunity and ignorance by police regarding these cases
*Police negligence in referring refugee women to shelters in cases of violence
*Closure of women's organizations through statutory decrees issued under the State of Emergency and the emerging lack of organizations that women can apply to in cases of violence
*Trustees appointed to municipalities of predominantly Kurdish provinces and oppression of women administrators in these provinces, women politicians and activists.
Some highlights from the press statement are as follows
"Not only today, but for over a year, we have been protesting in centers and at squares in the cities. We continue to disobey the male violence that has surrounded our lives [...], the state violence that has increased its misogyny and any imposition of fascism.
"It is our decision whether we want to get divorced, give birth, how and how many children we want to have.
"We will not allow a system that decides who will get custody of the children, to which religious occupational school (imam hatip) of which neighbourhood the children will be obliged to go, on which lands and at which war they will have to die and whether they will deserve a decent, respectful burial ceremony.
"We will not obey your system, that tell 'we don't have time' to women and LGBTIs who were subjected to violence, but don't hold back to openly tell the location of women's shelters to me, don't refer women refugees who were exposed to violence to shelters and demand evidence first.
"Since you have closed women's organizations that we can apply to against violence on the pretext of State of Emergency, targeted women's centers of municipalities through the trustees you appointed to the municipalities of Kurdish provinces, attempted to grant an amnesty to rapists while you convict woman MPs, woman mayors, politicians and rights advocates, we do not obey this 'State of Emergency'.
"We don't obey laws and a judiciary that tries to imprison our lives to motherhood, family and violence, to those men who try to impose us how to live our lives and the one man who protects those men!
"We women, do not give up on neither our desire to live an equal and free life away from men-state violence, nor our lives and our fight!". (ÇT/DG)
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