The 22-month protest culminated in victory – the story of worker Turkyan Albayrak

For 22 months, female worker Turkan Albayrak has been struggling on the streets of Istanbul to return to her job, from which she was unfairly fired, in the summer of 2018. She reaffirmed the truth of the words: “The one who fights wins in the end.” Turkan Albayrak has returned to her job at the Health Directorate of the District Governor’s office of Istanbul’s Sarıyer district.

On August 5, 2018, Turkan Albayrak was fired after failing to pass the so-called “security check-in files and in the archives”, which is a check of “loyalty” of employees in municipal and state organizations in Turkey. It was introduced in 2018 as a method of repression by the fascist government, after in the period 2016-2017 tens of thousands of civil servants were fired under the decree-laws issued during the state of emergency which was formally in force until July 2018.

Turkan Albayrak lost her job without being paid her statutory benefits upon termination of her employment contract. On September 3, 2018, Albayrak began her struggle for her job, which lasted for 22 months, despite the difficult conditions in which she finds herself. Despite police attacks, arrests, and difficult conditions, Albayrak has repeatedly stated, “I want my job back, I’m not a criminal,” demonstrating her determination to fight. After her struggle culminated in victory, she declared: “The fact that we can fight fascism and win new victories makes me happy.”

Turkan Albayrak says that passers-by around the place where she held her protest watched her from afar, but could not do anything because of the threats of the police, “People were happy to see that I was protesting because I was doing something that many also wanted to do but not everyone could do. In the first days of my protest, my colleagues sat on benches in the park where I held my protest action, but later the police started chasing everyone out of the park before my protest began. Some of the passers-by around expressed their dissatisfaction while the police detained me, some even tried to stop them from detaining me, but the police threatened to detain them together with me.

Albayrak says people around her rejoiced when her protest was crowned with victory, “In fact, the real reason for their joy is not that I will return to work, but that I have become a hope for them. With my victory, people saw what they had to do when their rights were taken away.”

Turkan Albayrak, who has been fighting in the squares and streets for her job for 22 months, is one of the clear examples in our country at this difficult time that struggle and resistance can bring victory. She won her rights by fighting for 641 days in the squares to regain her rights, which were taken away from her completely illegally. Albayrak has become a source of hope for the people around her, showing them that if they fight they can win. The spread of just protests, and the participation in them, will contribute to the growth of the struggle for rights and justice. And this in turn will lead to the collapse of the fascist government …

Source: Gerçek News Agency (Gerçek Haber Ajansı)

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