ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish police on Thursday fired tear gas to break up a protest in Istanbul by women demanding the country’s return to a landmark international treaty, signed in the same city, that is meant to protect women from violence.
The women marched along Istanbul’s main pedestrian street, Istiklal, to mark the Nov. 25 International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Holding colorful banners, they chanted slogans and vowed not give up on the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention.
Riot police, who had set up barricades at the end of the street to prevent them from proceeding further, fired tear gas when a group of protesters tried to breach the barriers. At least one protester was injured, the Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.
Similar protests were held in Ankara and other cities.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pulled Turkey out of the Convention with a surprise overnight decree in March, triggering condemnation from women’s rights groups and Western countries. A court appeal to prevent the move was rejected and Turkey’s withdrawal was formalized in July.
Some officials from Erdogan’s Islam-oriented party had called for a review of the agreement, arguing it was inconsistent with Turkey’s conservative values.
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