Naked FEMEN Activists Arrested in Istanbul

Four Ukrainian FEMEN activists staged one of their trademark bare-breasted protests in Istanbul today, to demonstrate against domestic violence in Turkey. The four women wore make-up on their faces and bodies to make them appear battered, bruised and disfigured by acid. Standing in the midst of busy downtown Istanbul, they held up signs and banners and were quickly dragged away and detained by police. According to FEMEN’s Live Journal site, the activists are still in detention and have yet to be charged with a crime. They have not been allowed to talk to lawyers.

The FEMEN demonstation occurred only hours after a Turkish man reportedly shot a female relative, 40-year-old Diyar Bengitay — a mother of three — dead, according to the Associated Press via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

The purpose of the FEMEN protest was to address violence against woman by making the “governments of Muslim countries in South Asia recognize the reality of genocide against women, to publicize such cases and severely punish the perpetrators.”

The FEMEN protest on International Women’s Day coincided with the Turkish government announcing a bill to “improve its image” by addressing domestic violence. The new bill would introduce “tough measures against abusers and provide improved protection for victims,” says the Hürriyet Daily News. The bill would also seek to stop “honor killings” and the murders of women deemed to have tarnished theirs and their family’s reputation due to a premarital relationship or to having a child out of wedlock.


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Photo by FEMEN via Wikimedia Commons


Chad Anderson
Chad Anderson4 years ago

Good for them. Whatever tactics women feel they need to fight patriarchy have a place in the struggle. We need to stop taking the abuse of women for granted and as normal. It must stop.

Sarah M.
Sarah M5 years ago

hurray for these protesters!

Teresa Cowley
Teresa Cowley5 years ago

...and so much for the Turkish government "improving it's image"--same s**t, different day!

Martin Stride
Martin Stride5 years ago

The body isn't a crime but domestic violence is. Free these women now!

Cindy B.
Cindy Black5 years ago

I dearly hope: (1) that the women are out by now and did not receive undue punishment (well, they already have, haven't they!)........ (2) that this will make some difference. I do love Turkey, have been there often and have always been treated with the utmost kindness and consideration.

Ernest R.
Ernest R5 years ago

@ Hannah S. .”Its the same thing, just puffed out and has a different function, feeding the baby” Not necessarily. The half basketball inserts put in by a physician are not to feed babies. They do however give the woman the opportunity to tell men “My eyes are up here”

Eileen W.
Eileen W5 years ago

Good for them! Turkey is a country with a split personality, predominantly Muslim yet also part of Europe with one foot in the east and the other in the west. Still much to do but it's great to see that the government is addressing these issues.

Veronique L.
Veronique L5 years ago

Very brave women! Kudos to all of them!

Darren Tan
Darren Tan5 years ago

Out with patriachy. cheers to those women.

Pamela H.
Pamela H5 years ago

The only things we should be ashamed of are greed, violence, spreading superstitious spin and prying (into other people's lives).