Turkish authorities partially lift ban on women’s march after outcry

8 March celebrations on Istiklal Street, Istanbul in 2016

Update 14:55 (CET) : Turkish authorities have lifted a ban on celebrations of 8 March International Women’s Day after public outcry and a meeting with opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers.

The bans in Istanbul and Izmir were lifted as women’s organisations came out in force to condemn the decision. However the ban in Kurdish city Diyarbakir is still in effect due to ‘security concerns’, reports suggest.

International Women’s Day celebrations were banned by the governorates of Turkey’s western city Izmir and Istanbul. Authorities banned the events on the grounds of ‘security concerns’.

The Istanbul 8 March Women’s Platform was organising the woman’s march to be held on 5 March.

According to women’s news agency Sujin, People’s Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers will negotiate with governorate officials on Friday to get the ban lifted.

Speaking to Kom News, Izmir Women Platform spokesperson Zohre Dalkiran said, “Women would have been on the streets with their own colours, with their own voices and own demands. Unfortunately our meetings have been banned by the authorities on the pretext of state of emergency. Once again we are seeing that the state of emergency is being used as an excuse to prohibit women’s freedom and violate our rights. We won’t obey this decision.”

Women are going to protest the ban with the Twitter campaign #8MartYasaklanamaz (#8Marchcannotbebanned) at 9pm on Friday.