Women’s rights marchers in Ankara met with tear gas and arrests Sunday as they gathered for a protest ahead of International Women’s Day later this week.
After the marchers ignored calls to disperse, Turkish riot police fired tear gas and detained about 15 women, Agence France-Presse reports, citing Turkey’s private Dogan News Agency.
The marchers mainly came from a women’s rights-focused NGO called Ankara Women’s Platform. They reportedly held aloft banners, including one that read “we are getting stronger in solidarity.”
The disrupted protest in Ankara coincided with another march in Istanbul, where around 1,500 women gathered to voice opposition to Turkey’s military campaign against Syrian Kurdish militia.
The U.S. partnered with Syrian Kurds in the fight against ISIS, but Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has labeled them a terrorist group that supports Kurdish separatists inside Turkey.
One of the women protesting in Istanbul told AFP: “There is a war on our border. We cannot remain indifferent.”