Mahir Kılıç Reinstated in His Job: ‘It is a Gain for the Working Class’ by Ayça Söylemez

Kılıç was on a hunger strike in front of CHP İstanbul Office for 160 days. His request was to be reinstated in his job. As he has been registered in the Social Security Institution (SGK) for his old job, he will end his strike today and start working after his treatment.

Dismissed from his job at İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, Mahir Kılıç was resisting in front of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul Provincial Building for 254 days and he was on a hunger strike for 160 days. The demand of Mahir Kılıç was to be reinstated in his job.

Speaking to bianet this morning (January 29) while he was drinking tea with his wife and daughter, Mahir Kılıç has said, “Yes, I have been reinstated in my job, it is my gain. But it is actually a gain for the [working] class. And it is the most important gain of all…”

The meetings held with the CHP administration on behalf of Kılıç ended in agreement last evening. Kılıç also stopped liquid intake two days ago.

“I have been taken to the job that I wanted. I have started taking water and sugar after it was confirmed. This afternoon, I will announce it to the public that I have ended my hunger strike”, Kılıç has told bianet.


‘I believe that I will recover soon’

Kılıç was working as a cleaning worker at the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality and he has been reinstated in the same job.

He has said that they will determine the treatment process with the physicians from the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TİHV) İzmir Branch, then he will restart his job after that.

Indicating that he had problems of health during his hunger strike, especially with his kidneys, Kılıç has said, “I believe that I will recover soon and start my job in the shortest possible time.”

‘For 10 years, I looked after my kids by cleaning the garbage of İzmir’

Speaking to bianet, Mahir Kılıç previously recounted how he was dismissed from his job and started his resistance:

“In the previous term at the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality, when Aziz Kocaoğlu was the mayor, I was dismissed together with 257 other workers because we filed a suit for permanent employment. Some of these workers had been working for the municipality for 26 years, some of them for 18. When I was dismissed, I had been working there for 10 years. What we had in common was that we filed a suit for permanent employment.

“When I took my annual leave, they relocated me from the solid waste department to the vegetable market. Three separate minutes were taken down against me in a months. Minutes were taken down against seven workers because they did not come to work shaven. While nothing happened to the other six, I was given a disciplinary punishment.

“In another time, they took down minutes against me, lying that he attacked his chief in a place where there were 350 security cameras. They dismissed me on that ground without giving me severance and notice pay. I could not even get my unemployment pay. My family was also condemned to hunger.

“I staged a hunger strike in front of İzmir Metropolitan Municipality after my dismissal. Nine fellow workers dismissed before me supported my resistance with a sit-in protest.

“At the end of the hunger strike, we signed a protocol with the representatives of rights and professional organizations as our witnesses. According to this protocol, we could start our job with the same rights. I ended my resistance after that.

“Seven months passed. But, in this period, we were neither reinstated in our jobs, nor did they answer our calls. We were deceived. And, I moved my resistance to the front of CHP Central Office. I went on a hunger strike.

“In November 2018, seven-eight months before the elections, we met with CHP İstanbul Chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu. In this meeting also participated by the lawyers, she promised that before the elections, I would start working at the Çiğli Municipality in İzmir for a temporary period and, after the elections, I would be taken back to my job at İzmir Metropolitan Municipality. I ended my resistance again.

“In that meeting, they told me that I could use two months off and would start working in Çiğli two months later. I did not wait for two months. I went to Çiğli Municipality one month later and requested a suitable job. However, I was not taken on.

“They apparently dismissed me from Çiğli Municipality before the March 31 elections. And while I was here resisting, they took down minutes against me ‘because I was not coming to work’ and my labor contract was terminated. I have never worked there anyway…

“While I was working at İzmir Municipality, my salary was almost 5 thousand lira, I had my annual leave, social rights, free public transportation card… I temporarily accepted the job at Çiğli Municipality in spite of that. The conditions there were those of a subcontracted job. Now, they say that he has been dismissed because he did not come to work.

“For 10 years, I looked after my children by cleaning the garbage of İzmir. I gained some rights by working on the streets come rain or shine. I want that job of mine.”


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