The Istanbul prosecution service has decided not to open a criminal case against four Ukrainian female citizens and activists of the FEMEN rights group near Hagia Sophia cathedral in Istanbul.
FEMEN said citing the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet on Wednesday that Turkish prosecutors had made the decision on Tuesday.
"The capital's prosecution service ruled that the same protest by the Ukrainian female movement FEMEN cannot be viewed as a crime," it said.
"The activists demonstrate their sexuality as a sign of protest, so indicating the very goal of this protest, that is, violence against women. Therefore, denudation of these girls cannot be viewed as something indecent or unlawful," FEMEN's press service quoted the prosecutor as saying.
"FEMEN hopes that the decision by the Istanbul prosecutor's office of April 17 will lead to the cancellation of the migration service's March 9 decision on forced deportation and the non grata status for the action participants," said Doan Subasi, FEMEN's lawyer in Turkey.
It was reported earlier that five FEMEN activists visited Istanbul on March 8 at an invitation by a local firm manufacturing lingerie. Following a press conference, the topless activists appeared at a rally in front of Hagia Sophia cathedral and chanted mottos denouncing violence against women, after which they were detained.
Turkish authorities deported the FEMEN activists from the country on March 9.
On April 10, police detained four FEMEN activists in Kyiv while they were protesting a bill banning abortion in Ukraine on the bell tower of the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv. The topless women rang the bells and put up a 7-meter-long banner with the word "STOP" on a black background.
Administrative reports on disorderly conduct were compiled on the activists, after which they were released.