For decades, March 8, International Women’s Day, has been celebrated in Turkey as a nonpartisan, colorful, fun day of parades. Women from all walks of life gather in city centers to sing songs of solidarity and dance to Turkish folk music with feminist slogans. Celebrations are held not only on March 8, but on the weekend approaching Women’s Day.
This year on March 4, news broke that all parades for Women’s Day in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa were banned. Then other cities’ provinces, such as Ankara and Istanbul, announced similar bans. The official reason was for the security of women. However, women’s groups were not convinced.