A group of Iranians living in Istanbul and Turkish citizens gathered Wednesday in front of the Iranian Consulate in Istanbul to protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody in Tehran.
Istanbul police, who on Tuesday repeatedly dispersed groups that gathered in Taksim Square, watched the action from afar.
During the demonstration, at least three women cut their hair to protest the treatment of Amini, who was detained by Iran’s morality police because she didn’t wear her headscarf correctly and therefore her hair was showing. She later died while in custody.
Protesters shouted slogans in Persian, Turkish and Kurdish. The Turkish chants included, “We do not keep silent, we do not fear, we do not obey,” and “My body, my decision.”
The Persian and Kurdish slogans included, “Women live freely” and “We do not want a mullah regime.”
Banners carried by the group of about 300 people included harsh criticism against Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the Iranian regime.
Mahdi Sağlar, one of the Iranians who participated in the protest, has been living and working in Turkey for 20 years.
“They beat a girl to death because her hair was showing,” Sağlar told VOA Turkish. “Their own children dress as they want in Europe and America, they behave as they want, but in Iran, they arrested her because her hair is out, and they killed her by causing a brain hemorrhage with a blow to the brain at the police station. We are here to protest this. Our citizens in Iran are protesting here on the street as well.”
Gelare Abdi, another Iranian protester, said that although she loves her homeland very much, she can’t live in her country due to heavy pressure.
“I need freedom,” she said. “But I have no freedom in Iran. I have been here in Turkey for two years out of necessity. … They killed Mahsa because her hair was showing a small forelock. She was just 22 years old. I am also a woman and I want freedom.”
This story originated with VOA’s Turkish Service.