Protesters chat slogans during a demonstration in Istanbul,Saturday, March 27, 2021 against Turkey's withdrawal from Istanbul Convention, an international accord designed to protect women from violence. The Istanbul Convention states that men and women have equal rights and obliges national authorities to take steps to prevent gender-based violence against women, to protect victims and to prosecute perpetrators. Conservative groups and some officials from Turkeys President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamic-oriented ruling party take issue with these terms, saying they promote homosexuality. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)

Women, LGBT people and students protest for rights in Turkey

ISTANBUL — Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Istanbul on Saturday for anti-government protests, demanding amid a heavy police presence the reversal of recent decisions by Turkey’s president that affect students, women and the LGBT community.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a surprise decree a week ago ending Turkey’s participation in a landmark treaty aimed at protecting women from violence. About a thousand women and allies turned up Saturday to protest the country’s withdrawal from the Council of Europe’s Istanbul Convention.

Hundreds of students also held another protest against the appointment of a new rector at Turkey’s most prestigious university.

Their protests began in January after Erdogan named an academic with ties to Turkey’s ruling party as rector of Bogazici University. Students and professors maintain Melih Bulu’s appointment undermines academic freedom.

Student Zehra Aydemir, 22, said the protestors have clear demands and goals, starting with Bulu’s resignation.

“We will lift police blockades at universities. We will carry through rectorship elections at universities with the participation of all the university’s components, its academics and students,” Aydemir said.

The students and women protesting Saturday also demanded an end to anti-LGBT actions amid growing intolerance from the government and police. The government has said one of the reasons Turkey pulled out of the Istanbul Convention is because it thinks the treaty attempts to “normalize homosexuality.”

Twelve students were detained this week for unfurling rainbow flags at Bogazici University, and dozens more were held Friday outside an Istanbul courthouse while demonstrating in support of their peers. A majority of them were later released.

“Unfortunately in Turkey today, if you are an LGBTI person or a woman, it’s very difficult for justice to be on your side,” Busra Cabuk, 23, said. “I” stands for intersex in the context of LGBT rights.

“This is why we are worried and we are scared, but we are making noise to not give up on our rights,” said Cabuk, who wore a rainbow mask. “This is why we are here as many women and LGBTI-pluses.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Arshdeep Bains eyes a loose puck in front of the Medicine Hat Tigers net Saturday night in WHL action at the Centrium. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Rebels fall short in 12th straight loss

Tigers 5 Rebels 2 (Saturday) Tigers 3 Rebels 2 (Monday) The Red… Continue reading

Red Deer property owners will receive their 2019 property assessment notices in the next few days.  (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer awaiting more details on how federal budget impacts city

The City of Red Deer is awaiting more information on how much… Continue reading

With a ban on sit-in dining once again in place, Las Palmeras owner Andre Lemus is gearing up for more takeout and delivery business. He has also applied to set up an outdoor patio, where dining is allowed under new restrictions. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Big interest in outdoor patios in Red Deer as sit-down dining banned again

City of Red Deer has tweaked its patio regulations to make it easier to get a permit

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators' Connor Brown, right, scores on Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom during second-period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Alta., Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Connor Brown scores twice for Ottawa Senators in 4-2 win over Calgary Flames

Connor Brown scores twice for Ottawa Senators in 4-2 win over Calgary Flames

Canada head coach Bev Priestman reacts during the women's international friendly soccer match between England and Canada at Bet365 stadium in Stoke on Trent, England, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Priestman says her goal is to help Canada move up the Olympic podium after back-to-back bronze medals at the 2012 and 2016 Games. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Rui Vieira
Olympic soccer draw will allow Canadians to start planning on and off the pitch

Olympic soccer draw will allow Canadians to start planning on and off the pitch

Federal government’s extension of CEWS in budget is some good news for CFL franchises

Federal government’s extension of CEWS in budget is some good news for CFL franchises

Canada's Brendan Bottcher dropped a 6-3 decision to Scotland's Bruce Mouat in the men's final of the Humpty's Champions Cup. Bottcher makes a shot against Scotland at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Friday, April 9, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Mixed results for Canadian teams at Champions Cup as Homan wins, Bottcher loses

Mixed results for Canadian teams at Champions Cup as Homan wins, Bottcher loses

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Stewart Cink watches his drive down the second fairway during the final round of the RBC Heritage golf tournament in Hilton Head Island, S.C., Sunday, April 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
Cink coasts to win at Hilton Head for 2nd title of season

Cink coasts to win at Hilton Head for 2nd title of season

The Official UEFA Champions League match balls are on display ahead of the Champions League quarter final second leg soccer match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Threats of expulsion as UEFA confronts Super League rebel 12

Threats of expulsion as UEFA confronts Super League rebel 12

San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) motions to the crowd during a break to mark his passing Gordie Howe for most NHL games played in the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, April 19, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Sharks’ Marleau breaks Howe’s NHL games played record

Sharks’ Marleau breaks Howe’s NHL games played record

Most Read