Turkish police temporarily detain five worker women protesting layoff

Turkish police on Nov. 27 temporarily detained five women workers protesting greenhouse company Agrobay in the Aegean province of İzmir for unfairly firing its unionizing workers in August. The women were released after questioning.

Protesting women unfurl banner from rooftop that reads, "Agrobay give us our rights!"

Duvar English

Turkish police on Nov. 27 detained five women workers who protested their former employer Agrobay Greenhouse from a rooftop in the Bergama district center of the Aegean province İzmir. Agrobay Greenhouse in August laid off 40 of its workers for unionizing. 

The women addressed Agrobay from the rooftop on the 98th day of their protest. The protesters stated they would commit suicide if their problem was not resolved within the day. “There is death, but no giving up,” said the workers. 

Police detained the women from the scene after their protest, and released them hours later.

The Agriculture Workers’ Union (Tarım Sen) shared the protest on their social media account and called for urgent action. “Enough is enough, do something!” the post read. “If even a hair strand of workers are harmed, we will make life unbearable for anyone responsible. The Agrobay workers are on a rooftop. Recompansate these fed-up women who have nothing left to lose,” continued the post.   

Agrobay runs the “world’s biggest greenhouse” in Bergama district. In August, the company laid off 39 of its workers without compensation for “abusing the employer’s trust” and “dishonest and disloyal actions.” 

The company denied the workers were fired for unionizing with the Tarım-Sen. One company representative called the workers’ protest a “heroizing attempt,” and accused workers of “trying to earn money the easy way.”  

The dismissed workers have been protesting for compensation since August 21st.