Security forces reportedly formed a human blockade to prevent women's rights activists gathered in Taksim Square from entering Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul on Sunday, March 8. According to the governor's office, all roads leading to Taksim Square and Istiklal Avenue have been closed, and services at Taksim metro station and parts of Şişhane metro station have been suspended.
A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be expected in Istanbul over the coming hours.
Security forces used tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse crowds during the 2019 Feminist Night March in Istanbul after the demonstrators refused a government ban on marching down Istiklal Avenue.
International Women's Day is celebrated each year in numerous countries on March 8 to push forward women's right and to highlight inequalities in between men and women. Feminist Night marches are organized in Istanbul since 2003 to celebrate this event.
Individuals in Istanbul, and Turkey more generally, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate a heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.