16:55 GMT02 August 2021
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    A major and impromptu demonstration filled the streets of Mersin, Turkey, the hometown of a college student who was murdered after she fought back against a rape attempt.

    Özgecan Aslan was traveling by minibus when the driver took her to a remote location and tried to rape her. She fought back with pepper spray and the driver allegedly stabbed her several times in the struggle. Her body was found on Friday two days after she was reported missing.

    Hundreds of women attended Aslan's funeral Saturday, occupying the front of the room in defiance of the imam. Later, they joined together on the streets to protest the culture of violence against women and demanded Family and Social Policies Minister Aysenur Islam to step down chanting "You will never walk alone."

    Critics say that President Tayyip Erdogan has not gone far enough in clamping down on violence against women in the country and some say his patriarchal views actually encourage it. A September Human Rights Watch report noted there appears to be "a pattern of impunity for violence against women."

    Aslan's mother Songul demanded the death sentence for her daughter's killers.

    "They should be executed, they should be tortured. Özgecan had a wonderful heart, she would work hard, help everyone. I cannot accept that she was massacred when she took a minibus to come home. Is my daughter's only mistake is to get on a minibus to come home?" she said, as quoted by Hurriet Daily News.


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