Unemployed cafe and bar employees dedicate protest to coworker who died by suicide

Istanbul's cafe and bar workers dedicated their Dec. 18 silent protest to coworker Duran Ay, whose suicide was reported on Dec. 16. Turkey's service industry workers have been without income since March, as their workplaces shut down and they do not qualify for state financial assistance.

Duvar English

Istanbul's cafe and bar workers staged their third silent protest against the government's pandemic management on Dec. 18, and dedicated the demonstration to their coworker Duran Ay who's suicide due to poverty was reported on Dec. 16.

Turkey's service industry was perhaps the area hit the hardest by the pandemic, as employees have been effectively unemployed with no state assistance since March.

"We dedicate this silent protest to our coworker, musician Duran Ay, who killed himself because he couldn't make a living," the workers said in a press statement. 

Turkey's service industry is mostly made up of daily or seasonal workers who live on daily wages, and are usually able to seek employment at multiple establishments if one doesn't work out. 

"Us cafe-bar workers have been unemployed without aid since March, and these new regulations have put us completely out of work," one worker said. 

The workers don't qualify for the state's reduced hours pension as they do not have contracts.

The workers will not stop protesting until they receive financial aid, along with the postponement of their rent and bill due dates.