Taken into custody and summoned to depose for joining the 19th İstanbul Feminist Night March on March 8 Women’s Day, 18 women charged with “insulting the President” have been released.
While an international travel ban has been imposed on all women, the Progressive Lawyers Association has announced that a judicial control measure of giving signatures has been imposed on four women.
In an operation carried out at midnight today (March 11), 13 women were detained while five women were summoned to depose over the slogans chanted at the 19th Feminist Night March on March 8.
Among the women taken into custody in house raids at midnight were activists from the Free Women’s Movement (TJA), İstanbul Women’s Committee, Women’s Liberation and Socialist Refoundation Party (SYKP).
After the women gave their statements at the İstanbul Security Directorate, they were referred to the İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan. They were reportedly facing charges for the slogans referring to President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“Tayyip, run, run, women are coming” and “Jump, jump, jump; whoever doesn’t jump is Tayyip” were some of these slogans.
According to the minutes taken on statements, it could not be determined which women chanted the related slogans as they were wearing face masks due to the pandemic. Therefore, the ones who jumped to the rhythm of slogans were identified and taken into custody.
Governor’s Office: Investigation is ongoing
The Governor’s Office of İstanbul also made a statement about the issue. According to the statement, “upon the instructions of İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, 18 suspects were identified and 13 suspects, including one under the age of 18, were caught on March 10.”
The office has that the investigation was still ongoing.
The following women were detained as part of the operation: TJA activist Besra İşsever, Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Central Executive Committee member İlknur Birol, Women Committee members Devrim Çapar, Merve Bektaş, Zeynep Çakır, Ebru Sert, Women’s Liberation member Sedef Özer, İlayda Cantaş, SYKP member Pelin Şahin, Nimet Tanrıkulu.
Zelal Buldan summoned to depose as well
As reported by Mezopotamya Agency (MA), the prosecutor’s office started to hear the statements of detained in women in two groups.
It was reported that Zelal Buldan, the daughter of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Pervin Buldan, was also among the ones facing a detention warrant and summoned to courthouse to depose.
Allegations of strip search
While several women started to gather in front of the courthouse for solidarity upon the call of the social media account of the Feminist Night March, Feminist Lawyers account also tweeted that two women were subjected to strip search while they were in police custody.