Men are joining the fight to eradicate violence against women after Turkish student Özgecan Aslan was killed during an attempted rape. And they're wearing miniskirts to do it. Thousands of men in Turkey and nearby Azerbaijan have posted images of themselves in skirts on social media under the hashtag #ozgecanicinminietekgiy ("wear a miniskirt for Ozgecan"). In Istanbul, men in miniskirts have also joined the protests which have swept the city.
As reported by the BBC, one rallying cry on Facebook states: "If a miniskirt is responsible for everything, if (wearing) a miniskirt means immorality and unchastity, if a woman who wears a miniskirt is sending an invitation about what will happen to her, then we are also sending an invitation."
Özgecan Aslan was travelling in a minibus across the Turkish city of Mersin on February 11. Her driver allegedly drove her into the woods and attempted to rape her, beating and stabbing her to death when she attempted to resist. His father and a friend are accused of helping him burn the body. All three suspects are now in custody.
Aslan's death has sparked demonstrations across Turkey, with thousands taking to the streets to protest the rising levels of violence against women in the country. Early last week, people were also posting photographs of themselves in mourning black under the hashtag #Ozgecanicinsiyahgiy ("wear black for Ozgecan"). Others have used the tag #sendeanlat ("you tell your story too") to share their own stories of sexual harassment and violence.
Between 2002 and 2009, the number of women killed in Turkey has soared by 1,400 per cent. An online petition calling for Aslan's attackers to be harshly punished has since gathered almost a million signatures – but many Turkish women are no doubt hoping that Aslan's death will help spark the change that the country urgently needs.
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