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Turkey: Feminist Activists Targeted by Islamists, Media by Uzay Bulut (Gatestone Inst.)

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Mar. 26, 2019

  • The feminist march had aimed to celebrate the International Women’s Day and protest women’s rights violations in Turkey, but police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the women.
  • Since then, many Islamists and pro-government media have been targeting the participants of the march and claiming that the women chanted while a nearby mosque was reciting the adhan (call to prayer).
  • The historical cycle of media misinformation, government incitement, and subsequent violence against non-Muslim minorities and political dissidents will likely continue rolling forward until Turkey and its government acknowledge these practices and begin heading the other way.

In a recent statement, the Women and Family Coordination Office of the pro-government “Turkey Youth Foundation” (TÜGVA) described the Islamic call to prayer, the adhan, as a call to radical action.

“To us, the adhan is the renewal of our intention to conquer Rome, New York, Beijing, Tokyo, Moscow, Berlin, Paris and to complete our unfinished conquest of Vienna,” said Seher Şenyüz, the vice coordinator of the Diyarbakir branch of the Women and Family Unit of TÜGVA, referring to the unsuccessful Ottoman attempts at conquering the Austrian capital.

Şenyüz’s statement appeared aimed at supporting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who accused the participants of the “Feminist Night March” in Istanbul of “disrespecting Islam by booing the adhan“. The organizers of the march denied the accusation.

The march, which took place on March 8 in Taksim, a central neighborhood of Istanbul, was blocked and attacked by the police.

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