Men take to social media in mini-skirts to protest alleged attempted rape, death of Turkish woman

Men have been posting photos of themselves wearing mini-skirts on social media to protest violence against women, following the death of a woman in Turkey who was apparently killed for trying to prevent a bus driver from raping her.

The burned body of 20-year-old Ozgecan Aslan was found in a riverbed in southern Turkey on Feb 13, two days after she went missing.

She was reported to have boarded a minibus to go home. The private Dogan news agency reported that the driver had attempted to rape her.

She resisted by spraying pepper gas at the driver who stabbed her to death, according to Dogan. The driver later sought help from two other people - his father and friend - to hide the body.

Three suspects including the driver of the minibus have been detained and are said to have admitted to having stabbing Aslan.

Since her death, women have staged protests in Turkey and men have now joined in by posting photos of themselves dressed in mini-skirts on social media.

 

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Men began using the hashtag #ozgecanicinminietekgiy – which roughly translates to “wear a miniskirt for Ozgecan” – and sharing selfies of themselves wearing mini-skirts holding signs of support.

According to BBC Trending, more than six million people have tweeted her name and thousands have used social media to share their own stories of sexual abuse.

Most seemed to be women, it said.

But according to the BBC, it was in neighbouring Azerbaijan, where most people understand Turkish, that men's reaction first seemed to trend.

The Twitter hashtag started on Wednesday, it said.

To date, about 1,500 people have used it, with roughly equal take up by men and women online (51% and 49% respectively).

Their 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!"

But some doubt the effectiveness of the message.

"Instead of supporting women in a real, practical way, wearing a skirt or a wig is not going to have any positive effect,"  Azeri tweeter Javidan Aghayev told the BBC. 

"In conservative civilizations like Turkey and Azerbaijan, this campaign is not going to help. Maybe in Europe, but not here."