Charged with "insulting the President" due to their slogans, 12 women have been taken into custody in İstanbul over the Feminist Night March held in the city on March 8 International Women’s Day. They have been referred to the prosecutor's office.

12 women who joined the Feminist Night March in İstanbul's Taksim on March 8 International Women's Day were taken into custody in a midnight operation conducted by the police today (March 11).

After giving their statements at the police station, the women, charged with "insulting the President", will be taken to the prosecutor's office at the İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan to give their statements during the day, according to attorney Meriç Eyüboğlu speaking to bianet.

Eyüboğlu has noted that one of the persons facing a detention warrant was not detained as she was under 18; she was summoned to depose.

Celalettin Can, the spouse of rights defender Nimet Tanrıkulu, who is among the detained, has also spoken to bianet about the operation.

78's Foundation Initiative Spokesperson Can has said, "We don't expect an arrest, but it is of course not certain what will happen."

Can has added that Tanrıkulu is having health problems as she has recently had a surgical operation. While Tanrıkulu requested giving her statement in the morning for this reason, the police rejected this request.

Slogans 'insulted the President'

Feminist lawyers have also tweeted that women are charged with "insulting" President and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan due to their slogans during the Feminist Night March. "Tayyip, run, women are coming" and "Jump, jump, jump; whoever doesn't jump is Tayyip" were some of these slogans.

Earlier today, March 8 Feminist Night March account also tweeted, "Some of our friends who participated in the Feminist Night March have been detained from their houses, we will not leave each other alone. Prevent the murderers, not the women who join March 8 and claim their lives."

The Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD) has announced that the women have been detained for "insulting the President."

In a social media post by the ÇHD, it has been stated: "Our clients who joined March 8 Feminist Night March are being detained in house raids. While we have not yet seen the detention warrants, we have been informed that our clients are charged with insulting the President.

"As far as we have been informed, 10 women, including five clients of ours, have been taken into custody; but there are still some clients whom we still cannot reach. We will follow up the detentions."

Erdoğan said 'an end to detentions out of working hours'

In introducing the Human Rights Action Plan in a publicity meeting on March 2, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, "We will put an end to such practices as detentions outside working hours."

As reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA), Erdoğan added, "We don't want our citizens to be deprived of their freedom due to detention warrants just to take their statements. With the Action Plan, we are putting an end to such practices as catching and detaining, finding in a hotel room in the middle of the night just to take a statement. Proceedings for taking statements can be done 24/7."