A group of people, including female and male members of Antalya People’s House (Halkevi), swam together on Aug. 24 to protest the city’s new women’s only beach.
The group gathered at a picnic area next to the Sarısu beach which has been opened with a ceremony by Antalya Municipality after being converted into a free-of-charge, women’s only beach.
They first dance the “horon,” a folk dance of the Black sea region, in reaction to a statement by a Samsun mufti who said it was religiously impermissible for men and women to dance the horon together. Then they run into the sea and swam together to protest Sarısu beach.
Ayten Ceyhan, the head of the Antalya Halkevi, reacted against some reports which created the impression that the protest would be staged at Sarısu beach.
“It is out of question to do something like this. Because we always make statements and stage protests regarding women who are subjected to violence and sexual harassment across Turkey. There is nothing as shameful as we raid a women’s only beach with men,” she said.
Ceyhan also stated that they believed the practice was not an act of positive discrimination for women, but instead isolated women from society on the grounds of protecting them from sexual abuse and violence.