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Turkey's 'Campus Witches' take on sexual harassers

A growing group of feminist university students in Turkey is taking direct and aggressive action to confront men accused of harassment and sexual assault.
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In late March, an unusual scene unfolded at Ankara University’s Faculty of Languages, History and Geography. A male student sitting with friends in an outdoor canteen was ambushed by a group of agitated girls. In a matter of seconds, he found himself under a flurry of punches and kicks as his company fled and a young woman shouted that he was being punished for harassing and sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Security guards came to the student’s rescue, leading him away amid jeers and slogans of female solidarity. The incident, filmed on a cell phone, was posted online and immediately went viral.

This was the Turkish public's introduction to the "Campus Witches," a network of female university students who urge women to stand up against male violence and sexual harassment and often take matters in their own hands. Their slogan is “Never rely on a prince! When you need a miracle, pin your hopes on a witch.”

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