NEW DELHI: The constant charge, and rightly so, of being insensitive and violent towards women have led even Turkish men to join the army of women protesters against their patriarchal society.

And they have done so in a novel way.

The social media websites have been invaded with pictures of men wearing skirts, mainly from Azerbaijan, who are of the view that if dressing in a certain way by women invites rapists to attack them, then they, too, are happy making themselves vulnerable to such attacks. The idea is to ‘test’ the hotly contested hypothesis of a correlation between a woman’s dress and rape.

“If a miniskirt is responsible for everything, if (wearing) a miniskirt means immorality and unchastity, if a woman who wears a miniskirt is sending an invitation about what will happen to her. Then we are also sending an invitation”, said their Facebook page.


(Photo credits :Good morning Turkey)

A hashtag, #ozgecanicinmieetekgiy, started by Azeri men, has been trending since Wednesday, which roughly translates as “wear a miniskirt for Ozgecan”.


(Photo credits :IB Times, UK)

The cities of Turkey have been raging over the death of 20 year old, Ozgecan Aslan, whose burnt body was found last Friday in a riverbed in the city of Mersin

Voices of dissent from all quarters have been relentlessly heard since then, and have taken up an organized movement against all that is wrong in Turkey with respect to its women.

After a shocking surge in the brutality against women during the last one decade, the women of Turkey have decided that they’ve had enough.

Last one week has been quite eventful for the otherwise passive women of the nation which is seen as the confluence point of the European and Asian sensibilities, but has been becoming more characteristic of its Islamic side, than its liberal hellenic spirit.

“Women are constantly being told what to do, what not to do. We just decided to leave all that behind and start talking”, said Idil Elveris, creator of the hash tag #sendeanlat, which translates as “tell your story” in English.

“One tweet particularly touched my heart. It read: a nation cries silently. This was a collective mourning and could not have been expressed more beautifully”, she said according to a report published in BBC Online.

The outcry over the young girl’s death didn’t just limit itself to the cyberspace, but poured out on the streets through all three major cities of Turkey; Ankara, Istanbul, and Mersin.

Women of all ages swarmed the streets, carrying placards displaying different message, some directed to the government, some to their own peers, and most, to the potential perpetrators.

“Enough, we will stop the murder of women” screamed the banner behind which women rallied. By the evening of the day when the body was found, the crowd had swelled to thousands marching for the liberation of their bodies and souls from the institutional shackles imposed on them by patriarchal authorities.

A young protester, Bulay Dogan, said, “I’m afraid, because the same thing could happen to me or my friends. But on the other hand, I’m furious too. How can they (the murder suspects) be so reckless to do something like this?”, according to the same Website.

One gender studies academic, Zynep, who too was part of the protest said, “It is the result of the radical Islam atmosphere created by the government. The men say that the women should be conservative. They think if they are not conservative, they deserve this kind of violence”.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), is a right wing party which has roots in political Islam, and has been in power since 2002.

Some women blame the anti-women stance taken by the top leadership in the last few years for the sharp rise in crime against women.

According the local data, more than 300 women were killed last year alone, and more than 100 raped.

There has been felt a deep intolerance against women’s liberalized ways, mainly in the last decade or so, which can be corroborated by a 1400% increase alone in violence against them between 2003 and 2010, a period which happens to coincide with the coming to power of the incumbent party.

Aslan, a psychology student, had been allegedly attacked by a minibus driver, his father, and a friend, after she had been abducted by them.

According to reports, she foiled their rape bid by a pepper spray, but finally was stabbed to death. She was hit on her head by an iron pipe too.