BEIRUT

Middle East

Femen stages bare-breasted protest against Turkish PM

EDS NOTE NUDITY Members of Ukrainian feminist group Femen shout slogans to protest Twitter and YouTube bans in Turkey and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government, at a polling station close to another polling station where Erdogan was about to vote in Istanbul, Turkey, Sunday, March 30, 2014. (AP Photo)

ISTANBUL: Femen activists on Sunday staged a bare-breasted protest against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has come under fire over an Internet crackdown, during crucial local elections.

The two women, who had the words "Ban Erdogan" written across their chests, were quickly covered up and arrested after flashing their breasts in the Istanbul polling station where Erdogan had been due to vote.

The conservative premier had already opted for a different ballot location after Femen had announced plans for the protest at the elementary school on the Asian side of the city where Erdogan has voted in the past.

The Ukraine-based feminist group had staged earlier actions against Erdogan's decision to block Twitter after the social media service was used to spread damaging corruption claims against him and his allies.

In an earlier photo shared on Twitter, a Femen activist had written across her bare chest Google DNS codes that allow users to circumvent the block, along with the Twitter hashtag #DirenTwitter (Resist Twitter).

Last July, after a Turkish police crackdown on anti-government protesters that left eight dead and thousands wounded, a Femen activist was arrested after flashing her breasts in an anti-Erdogan protest at an Istanbul airport.

 

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