An International Women’s Day rally in Turkey on Sunday turned violent when police dispersed the crowd by firing rubber bullets and detained at least one woman. According to Reuters, hundreds of women had gathered in Istanbul to draw attention to women’s issues such as domestic violence and low female participation in the workforce, despite a demonstration ban by Turkish authorities citing “security concerns.” The protest was organized in advance of the official International Women’s Day in hopes of drawing more support on a weekend day. “We have always said that we would never leave the streets for the March 8 demonstration, and we never will. Neither the police nor the government can stop us,” protestor Guris Ozen told Reuters before the police activity began. “You see the power of women. We are here despite every obstacle and we will continue to fight for our cause.” In recent years, the Turkish government has increasingly tried to curtail the right to peaceful assembly.
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