Tag Archives: economy

Two Afghan, one Pakistani refugee killed in container fire in Istanbul

Via Hurriyet Daily News – A total of three Afghan and Pakistani refugees were killed in a fire that erupted in a container they had been living in in Istanbul on Jan. 12. The fire was reportedly ignited from an electric heater. The killed refugees had been living in a container in Istanbul’s Beylikdüzü district and earning their living by gathering paper in the streets. Continue reading Two Afghan, one Pakistani refugee killed in container fire in Istanbul

Navigating complexity and contradiction: an interview with a Gambian businessman in Istanbul

By Helen Mackreath

Jahara Import-Export business is located in a Beyazit warehouse composed of roughly one hundred businesses, of which around ten are run by, or employ majority of, African workers from Senegal and Gambia. It is owned by Mehmud Kebbeh, a Gambian man who identifies as a migrant and a business-man.

I first met Mehmud as an interlocutor for a separate research project. As a British researcher our initial conversation encompassed discussions of some of his time spent in London and the relationship between our two countries, including the legacies of colonialism, as well as respective feelings about our “foreigner” status in Turkey. I spoke to him further to understand more about the warehouse as a space of transit, of multiple criss-crossing identities across nationality, class, gender, religion. Our conversation indicated multiple ways in which he navigates the overlaps between his business, religious and national identities; the importance of his import-export space as a social setting where migrants shed restrictive identifiers and share commonalities; and the multiple areas of hierarchy, exchange and isolation within the Gambian and Senegalese communities. Continue reading Navigating complexity and contradiction: an interview with a Gambian businessman in Istanbul

Shoe Workers Went on Strike Across Turkey

The resistance started in Adana in September 2017 and spread to İstanbul, Gaziantep, Konya, İzmir and Manisa within a few days. In almost all cities, the resistance resulted in the victory of the workers. The solidarity between Syrian and Turkish workers is the prominent character of this strike. [1]

The workers went on strike with the demands of 25% wage increase, 10% wage increase each year and the demand that Syrian workers – who take the lowest wage among the shoe workers- must be given the same wage as given to the rest of the shoe workers. [2]

The resistance of Turkish, Kurdish and Syrian shoe workers against labor exploitation – uninsured, unsecured and low-paying working conditions- has been running on.  In İzmir, the workers  still keep on organizing demonstrations to put across their demands. [3]

Continue reading Shoe Workers Went on Strike Across Turkey

Report on “Syrian Refugee Labor” by Turkish Metalworkers’ Union

Via Hurriyet  DailyNews –  At a time when the number of racist attacks targeting Syrian refugees in Turkey is on the rise, the United Metalworkers’ Union (Birleşik Metal İş Sendikası) issued a report called “Syrian Refugee Labor.” We have thus seen once again how most of the three million Syrian refugees are living under difficult conditions here.

Eight academics from various universities drafted the report. Face to face interviews were conducted with both Turkish and Syrian workers in the textile sector. The result is striking but not unexpected, because we knew that Syrian workers were unregistered and highly underpaid.

The report said 99.6 percent of male Syrian workers and 100 percent of female Syrian workers were unregistered. As an example of the pay gap between Syrian and Turkish workers, the average pay of Syrian women workers corresponds to only half of the average Turkish male worker’s pay.  Continue reading →