Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Turkish men wear mini-skirts and take to the streets, in protest at student's brutal rape murder

464029844.jpg

Men across Turkey have dressed up in mini-skirts to protest the brutal rape and murder of 20-year-old student, Ozgecan Aslan. 

Aslan's death has sent shock-waves across Turkey and raises serious questions about the country's treatment of women, at a time when sexual and physical violence against the female population is on the rise and often goes unreported. 

Aslan was abducted on February 11 in Mersin in southern Turkey and was allegedly killed after trying to stop a mini bus-driver from raping her. It is thought she was stabbed and hit in the head with a metal bar after attempting to defend herself from attack by using pepper spray. 

Her burned body was found in a riverbed, with her hands cut off in an attempt to hide DNA evidence that would have been under her fingernails. The main suspect's friend and father have now been accused of helping him to burn the body.

skirt

A young woman protests in Ankara

The discovery of Aslan's body led to widespread outrage and prompted angry protests in Istanbul's Taksim square, where hundreds of men and women gathered over the weekend dressed in dresses, skirts and miniskirts.  

According to a Facebook page set up to organise the demonstration, the clothing was intended to make the point that how women choose to dress is no excuse for harassment. 

"If a miniskirt is responsible for everything, if [wearing] a miniskirt means immorality and unchastity, if a woman who wears a miniskirt is sending an invitation about what will happen to her, then we are also sending an invitation!" the activists wrote. 

According to local news agency Anadolu, protesters shouted "You will never walk alone" as well as "We will put an end to female homicides" and "We are here today. We revolt and we will continue to revolt until this stops."

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has also weighed in on the case, tweeting: "To make sure the perpetrators who brutally slayed our daughter, Ozgecan, get the heaviest punishment that they deserve, I will personally pursue this lawsuit."

skirt

A Turkish man shares a solidarity picture on Twitter

In addition to the protests on the streets, Turkish men have been posting pictures of themselves on social media using the hashtag #ozgecanicinminietekgiy, which translates as "wear a miniskirt for Ozgecan". 

"The women's movement is trying to tell society, 'My dress is not an excuse for your rape or sexual harassment.' But society didn't want to hear these voices," said Turkish lawyer and activist Hulya Gulbahar to CNN about the protests. "People try to find excuses for rapes and killings. But they didn't find any in this case, because Aslan was very innocent, purely innocent. The protest shows that a short skirt is not an excuse for rape."

Women's rights are a huge issue in Turkey, with domestic abuse cases and murder rates against women on the rise. The New York Times reports that almost 300 women were murdered in 2014 in Turkey, with 27 killed last month alone.

skirt

Hundreds of women are murdered and assaulted in Turkey every year

Related

158696374.jpg

The world's most dangerous transport systems for women

angelina.jpg

10 inspiring speeches by women

rape conviction use this

Barrister sparks outcry with 'deeply offensive' blog post on rape

rexfeatures_4216034b.jpg

Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years for Reeva Steenkamp killing

Nailah.jpg

PROMOTION: On the Beat with the Met Police

rexfeatures_1221742p.jpg

2014's most powerful and provocative longreads

Comments

More

Turbo G&T is the new gin trend taking over our Instagram feeds

Gin lovers, pay attention…

by Kayleigh Dray
16 Jan 2017

Politician arrested for grabbing a woman's groin - sound familiar?

Sound familiar?

by Anna Pollitt
16 Jan 2017

Flat wine bottles that fit through the letterbox are here to save 2017

At last.

by Sarah Biddlecombe
13 Jan 2017

The real reason Come Dine With Me’s Rory was removed from the show

We finally know what really happened to the reality star…

by Kayleigh Dray
13 Jan 2017

New radio programme, Badass Women’s Hour, launches this weekend

It plans to bring womens' real conversations into the open

by Harriet Hall
13 Jan 2017

This infographic matches wine to your favourite snacks

The best bottles for chips, popcorn, doughnuts and more

by Amy Swales
12 Jan 2017

Your A-Z guide to a happy, healthy life in 2017

by Katharine Busby
12 Jan 2017

Female students told to go on a date and “be ladylike” as homework

“If you think you’re too fat, etc., keep it to yourself”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
12 Jan 2017

The world’s oldest yoga teacher has some beautiful life advice for us

Tao Porchon-Lynch is a 98-year-old yogi – and she's revealed her secret to a long and happy life

by Kayleigh Dray
12 Jan 2017

The Creme Egg Café is back – and this time, it's touring the UK

Here's how to get in

by Amy Swales
12 Jan 2017