Last edited: January 26, 2005

Protesters March on Turkish Parliament

Info-Turc, September 16, 2004

ANKARA (AFP)—Waving banners and chanting slogans, about 400 demonstrators marched peacefully on the Turkish Parliament on Tuesday to protest against proposed legislation to make adultery a criminal offence.

The demonstrators, mostly women, but also members of human and gay rights groups, gathered on a warm, sunny day on a pedestrian street near the capital’s ministries area before beginning their march on the nearby parliament, where deputies were to debate the bill from 3:00 p.m. (1200 GMT). The rally called by several feminist NGOs advanced toward the sprawling complex unhindered by police, chanting, “Our bodies are ours, hands off !”, “Deputies, end violence (against women), forget about adultery,” one banner read.

Several demonstrators carried photographs of women victims of “honour crimes”, killed by their spouses or families to protect the family name. Banners showed that the demonstrators had come from as far afield as Istanbul, in the northwest of the country, Adana in the south and Batman, in the southeast.

The penal code reform bill, which aims to dismantle the current, 78-year-old legislation modelled on that of fascist Italy, also aims to ease Turkey’s entry into the European Union. But that could backfire if Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) goes ahead with its plan to introduce a clause making adultery a jailable offense.

[Home] [World] [Turkey]