200 Turkish workers detained after protesting dismissal of colleagues over unionization efforts

Turkish police on Jan. 31 detained 200 workers of an automotive factory after they stopped working and locked themselves inside the factory in protest of the dismissal of their colleagues over unionization efforts. Birleşik Metal-İş Union later announced that the workers were released after their statements were taken.

Duvar English 

Some 200 workers of an automotive components manufacturer were detained on Jan. 31 after they stopped working and initiated a demonstration in protest of the company's efforts to stop their unionization efforts. 

The incident occurred in the northwestern province of Kocaeli, where the factory of the Farplas company is located. 

The protests initially began on Jan. 19 over the insufficient rise in wages. Following negotiations with the employer, the workers ended their protest a day later on Jan. 20, as the company promised to increase their wages. During this process, some workers joined trade unions to protect their rights, leading to their dismissals by the company in an attempt to stop the unionization efforts. 

The workers stopped the production again early on Jan. 31 in protest of the dismissals and locked themselves in the factory, but this time faced the intervention of the police. 

Birleşik Metal-İş Union announced that the police had detained 200 people, including workers and union members. The union later announced that the workers were released after their statements were taken.

Speaking after his release, a worker said that they were exposed to violence and insulted while being detained.

Another said that one of his friends had broken his leg during the detention process. 

Birleşik Metal-İş Union Head Adnan Serdaroğlu spoke to daily Sözcü, saying that the police had used tons of pepper spray during the workers' detention.

In protest of the detentions, workers from other factories nearby also marched in front of Farplas Factory.