Displaced female entrepreneur piles up work equipment on street in protest

A Turkish entrepreneur piled up all of her work equipment on the street in protest following the state's forced expropriation of her charcoal production facility for a highway construction project. Gönül Uslu said that the most upsetting part of her workplace's closure was that her female employees had become unemployed.

Duvar English

A female entrepreneur named Gönül Uslu piled up her work equipment in the middle of a street in the western province of Kocaeli's Kandıra district in protest of the state's forced expropriation of her charcoal production and packaging center for a highway construction project.

Uslu started her charcoal production business three years ago with machines that her husband designed, and had nearly 50 employees when the state expropriated her facility to be demolished for a highway construction project.

Uslu requested the municipality grant her a new space for production but was turned down on the grounds that none of the alternatives were in industrial zones. 

"I paid all of my taxes on time, but we were literally left out on the street," Uslu said. "The thing that upsets me the most is that the women I worked with became unemployed."

Uslu's business was preparing to start exports to multiple countries including Russia, but all their work has gone to waste, she said.

"When the business closed, I piled up all our stuff on the busiest street in the town in protest. Million-lira machines were left out in the rain," Uslu said. 

Kandıra Mayor Adnan Turan said that they were working on a solution, but that it could take up to 10 months to get the municipal board to make a decision.