Female workers in Izmir shouted: We will go to Ankara if necessary

CHP Chairman Candidate and Group Chairman Özgür Özel visited the female workers who were fired from their jobs on the grounds that they were unionized and who have been protesting for a month at Agrobay Greenhouse in İzmir Bergama district. During the visit, they stated that they will continue their protests until female workers get their rights and said, “We will go to Ankara if necessary,” while CHP member Özel stated that they will support the workers until they get their rights.


Release: 22:27 – 22 September 2023 Updated:

Worker women, who were fired from Agrobay Greenhouse operating in Bergama district of Izmir on the grounds that they were union members, have been protesting in front of the company for 32 days. CHP Chairman candidate and Group chairman Özgür Özel, together with CHP İzmir Deputy Gökçe Gökçen, visited the workers who continued their demonstrations in front of Agrobay Seracılık and were sometimes detained by confronting the gendarmerie.

CHP Chairman Candidate Özel chatted with the workers and listened to their problems.


Şirin Yıldırım, the worker who was dismissed from Agrobay Greenhouse, explained the trouble they experienced to CHP’s Özel and stated that they have been seeking justice for 32 days on the grounds that they were unfairly dismissed.

Dismissed worker Şirin Yıldırım explained the trouble she experienced to CHP’s Özel as follows:

* “I worked for 9 years. I worked under difficult conditions. There was pressure on our friends, we were sent on unpaid leave, we had no security of life. Because we saw these, we decided to become a member of the union. But did we commit a crime? As you know, they put it in front of the door. We came here last Friday. We are seeking our rights. We tried to resist. The gendarmerie dragged the police and detained them. We came to resist again last Friday. Again, the gendarmerie prevented me and stepped on my foot. The gendarmerie broke his leg. Then they hit me with a shield, and my friend and I fell to the ground.

* The commander came to me and said, ‘You are blocking the road purposefully. ‘Open,’ he says. It hurts, how can I get up? I’m crying there and he doesn’t believe me. ‘Get up. “Otherwise I will take him into custody,” he says. He threatens to detain me with my broken foot. We have been tortured for 32 days. Now we want this problem to be solved. I went all the way to Istanbul. If necessary, I will go to Ankara. I won’t let this go. “Let them give us our rights and get rid of us.”


Another female worker, who said that they always came face to face with the gendarmerie and police throughout the protest they carried out for 32 days and who was dismissed, said:

* “We worked in temperatures of 60-70 degrees. We did not become members of the union out of the blue. Our salaries were paid irregularly. Our promotional money was not given. Our Ramadan parcels were not given. They reduced my serve count to one. The cars carrying us are junk. We were freezing in the winter. In the summer, we were sweating because of the heat. We came face to face with death several times. We had an accident. Our shifts were not recorded. That’s why we moved to the union.

* We were given our exit when we joined the union. They kicked us out because we were members of the mining union. While he was leaving, he said, ‘You will be given all your rights, such as all your compensation and unemployment benefits.’ But there is no such thing, we were given an exit from Code 46 without compensation. We were not compensated. Our salaries were not paid. We are poor people. We are people who make a living through our labor. We have been coming here to resist and seek our rights for 32 days. But we come face to face with the police and gendarmerie, using both psychological and physical violence. We don’t want to experience these. As working women and housewives, our psychology is now broken. We don’t want to experience this. I don’t want to see gendarmerie and police all the time. My psychology is broken. I can’t sleep. “I can’t think clearly.”


After listening to the demands of working women, Özgür Özel met with Agrobay company officials. While CHP private company officials were meeting, the laid-off women continued to wait outside, chanting slogans such as “We are workers, we are right, we will win.”


After his meeting with private company officials, he made a statement to the protesting workers. Underlining that the company officials wanted to take the situation to court during the meeting, CHP member Özel said:

* “We had a long meeting with company officials at Agrobay Seracılık. Our request in this meeting is to re-establish contact. First of all, the dismissed workers should be saved from the great injustice called Code 46. Then, their compensation was given and their other demands were negotiated to resolve the issue. At the point where we differed, the employer side used expressions stating that it was necessary to go to court, that the court’s decision would be followed, that they were right and that they saw the employee side as wrong. As members of parliament and administrators who have experienced very similar examples in the past, we requested that they use the time until Monday and contact our delegation on Sunday.

* We, as MPs, will not take any steps until Monday. No one should have any doubt that we will side with the workers in all kinds of contacts, the relevant ministry, the relevant institutions of the parliament and, if necessary, whichever institution or organization we need to contact in the future. We were shown various images. It’s about the action on the first day. We saw the action. The action talks about restricting freedom of travel. I reminded him of a previous court decision. The court says, ‘Such a business must also have a second ambulance and fire department exit door.’ Says. They said, ‘We have it too.’ Then the cars inside could get out of there.

* The presence of workers here did not prevent the page of the ambulance or the entrance or exit of the fire brigade. They said, ‘Yes, that’s true.’ In other words, the door closed by our female workers is the right door to make their voices heard through action. But it is not a door that has exploited their work and disrupted many vital things. When we questioned them by showing them a court order in which they accused our workers, they immediately said, ‘We have an alternative door. ‘It was open,’ he said. Then why didn’t they come out? It is obvious that they are doing it to make the worker look guilty. This is just the beginning. We are people who follow these things in very long places and at very different times. There are many court decisions in favor of the workers. We will do our best at this point. The company exports. It is a very good thing that for a company that exports, your sweat and sweat return to Turkey as foreign currency. Let them give you your rights and export. There is no problem with this. We will continue to support them until they seek their rights.”

Following CHP’s Özel’s statement, female workers stated that they would continue their protests until they get their rights.

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