Istanbul police fired tear gas and plastic bullets to disperse thousands of women who tried to march along the city’s main pedestrian avenue to mark International Women’s Day on Friday evening.

Thousands of women gathered near İstiklal Street in İstanbul’s famed Taksim neighborhood for a march that police said was unauthorized.

The march, named “March 8 Feminist Night March,” has been organized annually on İstiklal Street since 2003.

Police initially blocked blocked entrance to Istiklal avenue to prevent women from walking down the avenue:

Upon the protestors’ refusal to disperse, riot police then fired several rounds of tear gas to push back the marchers. Scuffles broke out as they pursued the women into the side streets off the avenue.

Turkish journalist Fatih Pınar posted a series of video footages from the field showing police firing tear gas, rubber bullets against thousands of women during the 17th Women’s day march in Istanbul: