Turkish riot police in Istanbul fire rubber bullets to disperse women demonstrating after their Women's Day rally was banned by the governor. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
NATURAL ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Riot police on Sunday (March 6) forcibly broke up a rally of hundreds of women gathering in Istanbul to mark International Women's Day. The women mounted their demonstration two days before the official Women's Day after their rally planned for March 8 was banned by the governor of Istanbul. Throngs of fleeing women could be seen running away from police with shields firing rubber bullets into the crowd. Istanbul's governor had enacted the ban on demonstrations citing security concerns. The female protesters had organized in defiance of the ban, chanting slogans and filling the district of Kadikoy's streets with purple banners - the hallmark of the movement centered on women's social and economic issues. "We have always said that we would never leave the streets for the March 8 demonstrations and we never will. Neither the police nor the government can stop us," one demonstrator, Guris Ozen, told Reuters before the clashes. "You see the power of women. We are here despite every obstacle and we will continue to fight for our cause." Another woman, Burcak Goren, said the city's ban was a sign of "desperateness". "They tried to ban us from demonstrating. We know they won't allow us to demonstrate today but we also know that women will not leave the streets and return home," she said. At least one demonstrator was detained in the scuffle. Skirmishes also broke out during demonstrations in capital Ankara, where dozens of women took to the streets. Turkey has drawn criticism for its handling of gender issues. According to a 2011 U.N. report, non-sexual physical violence committed by intimate partners was 10 times more likely in Turkey, which aspires to join the European Union, than in some European countries. Meanwhile 281 women were murdered in 2014, up 31 percent from the previous year, according to statistics compiled by the Bianet monitoring group.