Ukrainian activists from the Femen radical feminist group have staged a naked protest on International Women's Day in front of Istanbul's most iconic monument, Hagia Sophia.

Four members of the group, wearing make-up to look bruised and bloody, chanted slogans and brandished banners against domestic violence.

Their protests came on the day that news websites reported that a man shot dead a female relative after she left home in an argument with her husband.

The Femen activists, who were naked from the waist up, were dragged away by police and taken into custody. Witnesses said female police officers "could not hide their smiles" as they intervened.

Turkey's parliament is working on legislation to introduce severe punishment for those mistreating and abusing women in a largely patriarchal society.

Femen activists disrupted the Russian presidential poll in a Moscow polling station on Sunday when they paraded half naked to draw attention to widespread claims of vote-rigging at the presidential polls.

They had "I steal for Putin" written on their bodies and shouted anti-Putin slogans. Police dragged them away minutes before Putin and his wife arrived to cast their vote in an election already considered to be in the bag for the incumbent prime minister.