Turkish Women Protest Court Ruling Woman Guilty of “exhibitionism”

by Gopalan on  July 5, 2008 at 10:08 PM Lifestyle News   - G J E 4
 Turkish Women Protest Court Ruling Woman Guilty of “exhibitionism”
Turkish women have protested a court ruling that found a woman guilty of exhibitionism as she had  fished in "improper clothing."

About 70 Turkish women marched across the iconic Galata Bridge in Istanbul chanting slogans. It's not exhibitionism, it's male abuse!" and "State, take your hands of my body!" they cried.

Rows of bemused fishermen watched as they passed - many were wearing strappy tops, flimsy sun-dresses with plunging necklines, or shorts.

The incident they were protesting occurred last summer, on the same bridge, when men complained that the woman's clothing was "improper."

Turkish newspapers quote court documents as saying she was wearing a lightweight outfit like a nightdress, which blew up in the wind.

Last week a judge upheld the men's complaints.

The fisherwoman in a flimsy dress was given a five-month suspended prison sentence for exhibitionism.

The protesters sang songs and carried banners calling for the law on exhibitionism to be overturned.

They said finding the woman guilty of "exhibitionism" was disturbing proof that conservative thinking is on the rise here.

"They think women should stay home and dress properly," complains Cigdem Mater.

"The question is what is proper? No-one has the right to tell us what to wear, that is the point."

"I don't think anyone should be arrested because of their clothing. People cross this bridge wearing all sorts of things," one of the fishermen said.

"But unfortunately there is conservative pressure on people now because we have a religious government."

The AK Party - which is led by devout Muslims - has been in power since 2002. Some are concerned Turkey is becoming more conservative under its rule, reports BBC.

"Men here are not well educated," another fisherman adds.

"It's the mothers that fail to teach them. But overall, the state sides with men when things should be equal."

Source: Medindia

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