A 48-year-old mother of two, Dilek Aslan works night shifts at a factory so that during the day she can participate in resisting against the Turkish company Bimeks, which still has not paid damages to the 1,500 workers they laid off without notice in 2018.
Once among Turkish tech giants, Bimeks laid off hundreds of workers without notice, and with five months of unpaid wages, when they essentially closed down all their stores.
Workers have proven their right to damages and back pay in court over the past two years and no action has been taken by Bimeks. As a result, the workers continue their protests despite the police detentions they've faced throughout.
Aslan used to be able to live off of concessions she sold in front of factories at dawn, but that stream of revenue was lost as a result of the pandemic bans in the country, she said.
"Hi friends! I'm at my night job that I found, thankfully, to be able to join in on protests," Aslan is heard saying in a video she shared with other workers in the resistance.
Dilek ablamız pandemi sebebiyle simit satamadığından işe girdi. Direnişe devam etmek için gece vardiyasında bu gürültü de çalışıyor. Sabah eve gidip akşam yemeğini ocağa koyuyor. Sonra da eyleme geliyor.— Bimeks Direnişçileri (@bimeksdirenisi) January 14, 2021
Biz kazanacağız bizim için slogan değil. Bunca emeğin karşılığını alacağız. pic.twitter.com/QSDC0erbfG
"She works the night shift in this chaos to be able to keep resisting. She goes home in the morning to put breakfast on the table. Then she'll come out and protest," said a social media account of the Bimeks workers regarding Aslan's video.
"We will win is not just a slogan for us. We will reap the benefits of all our work."
Workers who have been wronged by employers are unfortunately not a small group in Turkey, with miners, factory workers, and public servants often being forced to carry out acts of civil resistance to receive what they are entitled to.