23 women detained in Turkey’s southeast during Women’s Day celebrations

Police attacked women in Turkey's Kurdish majority Sanliurfa province during International Women's Day celebrations

23 women have been detained in Turkey’s southeastern city Sanliurfa on Sunday as they prepared to celebrate 8 March International Women’s Day celebrations.

Dozens of women convened in the early hours of the morning in front of the Health Workers’ Union building in Sanliurfa carrying musical instruments and dressed in traditional Kurdish clothing.

According to reports police tried to prevent the women from marching due to security concerns. Police fired tear gas into the crowd when the women insisted on marching and intervened with batons.

Opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy Dilek Ocalan, as well as Kurdish Democratic Regions Party (DBP) members were injured in the police intervention.

23 women have been detained in the incident.

Turkish authorities initially banned celebrations on grounds of security in several cities including Istanbul, Izmir and Diyarbakir. However the ban was lifted following a public outcry.

Critics have said the bans are an extension of the crackdown on opposition voices in Turkey.