Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

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


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.


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."


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.


Hundreds of women are murdered and assaulted in Turkey every year



The world's most dangerous transport systems for women


10 inspiring speeches by women

rape conviction use this

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


Oscar Pistorius jailed for five years for Reeva Steenkamp killing


PROMOTION: On the Beat with the Met Police


2014's most powerful and provocative longreads



Our kind of cauldron: darkly delicious Halloween cocktail recipes

Jacked-up Negronis and chilli-laced concoctions

by Amy Swales
25 Oct 2016

“Why we need to remove the term Essex Girl from the dictionary”

It's time to reclaim the term once and for all

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 Oct 2016

Revealed: the 20 most fashionable baby names in France

These melodic French baby names are très bien

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Oct 2016

Small fibs could turn you into a full-blown liar, study finds

“What a tangled web we weave...”

by Anna Pollitt
25 Oct 2016

Bake Off’s Mary Berry confirmed for brand-new cooking show

And it’s hitting our screens in time for a very Berry Christmas…

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Oct 2016

This 'Very British Problems' Twitter account is all of us

"Best weekend activity: a really nice sitdown"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Oct 2016

13 Going on 30 is the latest film to get a musical makeover

by Amy Swales
24 Oct 2016

This streaming service is so boring it will send you to sleep

Forget Netflix and chill

by Harriet Hall
24 Oct 2016

Poldark slammed by women’s rights campaigners as “romanticising rape”

“It’s worse than if it had been a straightforward rape scene”

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Oct 2016

The selfie vs. the group photo: which actually makes us happier?

Time for an Instagram break?

by Moya Crockett
24 Oct 2016