A Turkish judge questioned women’s reaction to femicide in the hearing session of a trial in which 35 women are accused of breaching the regulations of assembly at a feminist rally on 8 March 2020, ANKA News Agency reported.
The session on Wednesday at an Istanbul court was attended by seven of the accused women and their lawyers.
One of the accused, Zeynep Büşra Islak, indicated that it was their constitutional right to organise and participate in a rally. “8th of March is International Women’s Day,” she said. “I exercised my constitutional right and attended the rally. I didn’t hear any warning of the police about dispersing. The police tortured us as they detained us. We were only exercising our constitutional right.”
Another woman, Emel Karadeniz, noted that many women were killed and raped during the last few years and she had taken part in many protests since 2018. “I wish we could get together much more frequently,” she said. “I also wish that the Istanbul Convention was still in effect.”
The judge intervened at that point and said: “Men are killed as well. Some say, ‘for every 10 women killed, 20 men are killed.’ So are we supposed to hold rallies as well then?”
Karadeniz replied, saying: “You can exercise your constitutional right too, if you want. This is all I’m going to say to a state official who says that men are also killed, in response to us saying ‘women are killed’. And I also can’t help wondering at that point what the function of the state is.”
At the end of the session the judge issued an order for the detention of three of the accused women, and postponed the trial till 28 April 2022.