Why are Turkish men protesting in mini skirts?

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Rob Moran

Turkish men join online protest movement, condemning violence against women in the wake of the attempted rape and murder ...

Turkish men join online protest movement, condemning violence against women in the wake of the attempted rape and murder of 20-year-old Özgecan Aslan earlier this month.

Men in Turkey have been posting selfies of themselves wearing mini skirts on social media, in a show of solidarity with women's rights activists following the attempted rape and murder of 20-year-old Özgecan Aslan earlier this month.

Joining marches that have seen thousands of women take to the streets to express their anger at Aslan's death and the government's wider response to the problem of violence against women in the country, the hashtag '#ozgecanicinminietekgiy' - which translates to "wear a miniskirt for Ozgecan" - has been used over 1500 times since beginning in neighbouring Azerbaijan on Wednesday.

Aslan, a 20-year-old Turkish university student, was murdered on February 11 after reportedly fighting off a rape attempt from a minibus driver in the southeastern province of Mersin. After using pepper spray on her assailant, Aslan was stabbed and beaten to death. Her body was found three days later in a nearby riverbed, burned and disfigured, after the driver, 26-year-old Ahmet Suphi Altındöken, confessed to local police. His 50-year-old father and a 20-year-old friend were also arrested as accomplices in the murder.      

"If a miniskirt is responsible for everything, if 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!", a rallying cry on Facebook noted.

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Alongside the online campaign, others have taken their protest directly to Istanbul's Taksim Square, with the hashtag #EteginiGiyTaksimeGel - "Come to Taksim wearing a skirt" - also trending on Twitter.

The mini skirt movement joins other online protests that have ignited in Turkey in the wake of Aslan's murder, including one where women posted selfies of themselves wearing black to show their opposition to violence against women. 

While some online users have criticised the hashtag campaigns as "inept action", other Twitter users have supported the awareness-raising protests.

"Very big incidents must take place in order for people to understand that something is wrong in Turkey," one tweeter wrote, according to BBC. "We can't see how deadly decayed buildings are until there is an earthquake. We can't see the need to create safe working conditions for a mine until tragedies like Soma happen. We become aware only after things happen to us."

Source: Buzzfeed, MicBBC News