5-year-old comforts father as thousands laid off at New Year’s in Turkey
ANTALYATuanna Aras, a 5-year-old who tried to comfort her crying, laid-off father during a protest in the coastal province of Antalya, has made headlines, as 200 private guards at the municipality have continued labor action demanding their jobs back.
“I have three kids, and I pay rent for my house. I have nothing to say,” Murat Aras told journalists on Jan. 5 in front of the municipality, while he was holding Tuanna.
The workers said they were informed by the municipality at 7 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2014, hours before the new year, that their contracts would end.
“There were no reasons. They just told us on the phone that they did not want to work with us anymore,” Aras said.
The employees said they demanded direct contact with Antalya Mayor Menderes Türel, but failed. They also showed reporters former text messages sent by Türel, in which he pledged to provide 10,000 jobs before being elected in local elections in March last year.
The new year also brought bad tidings to workers in other cities of Turkey, with 489 miners in the Kandilli district of the Black Sea province of Zonguldak, the heart of coal mining in the country, being laid off.
Hattat Holding’s Hema, the mining firm, which has been facing problems with the official Turkish Coal Institute (TTK), is reportedly planning 150 further lay-offs after workers staged protests last month to defend colleagues’ jobs.
Hema has countered, saying the reserves are not as big as promised.
Two Chinese miners, Maoshun Yang, 38, and Shouje Sun, 37, were killed at the Hema mine last November.
Some 2,801 miners were earlier laid off in December 2014 via text messages at the Soma mines, where 301 were killed in the largest mining disaster of the country on May 13.
The local media has also reported that Pirelli, the tire-maker, laid off 613 in Turkey on the eve of the new year.