garbage (links to original article)
(Vatan Newspaper, 19 February 2011)
Nesibe Turan (44), who has worked in the Yakutiye Municipality
of Erzurum city for 20 years, was returned to her former office from
the cadre of the National Education Directorate where she had been
assigned, by a court order. Turan stated that she has been given duty
with the men on night shift garbage-collection by AK Party Mayor
Ali Korkut in reaction to this order and she characterized it as exile.
In a written statement Mayor Korkut said that 'we informed her that
there was no position or place available for her in the office and that
there was only a job with the cleaning crew. Knowing this, she still
Last January 530 of the 800 workers in the Yakutiye Municipality
were deemed excess and distributed by drawing lots to other organ-
izations. Lastly, Nesibe Turan, who was the chief of the municipality's
Women's Shelter, was assigned to the National Education Directorate.
But Turan went to court to get her old job back, saying that she was
happy working in the municipality, and the court decided that Turan
should go back to the municipality. Thinking that she would go back
to her old job as chief of the Women's Shelter, Turan instead found
herself on sanitation duty. Turan went out in the bitter cold with her male
colleagues but called it exile. The bachelor Turan, who lives with her
parents, said this about her life in exile:
'I worked nine years as an accountant, nine years in the nationalization
service and the last two years as the chief of the Women's Shelter. I'm
not ashamed to work in the cleaning service of the municipality to which
I've given 20 of my years. This is how I make my living. Yesterday I
was a chief, today I'm a garbage collector. Only God is free from trouble.
I applied to the court, which is my most natural right, because I didn't
like my assignment and returned to the municipality. The other garbage
collectors are helping me. My only problem is the cold. Whatever duty
they give me I'll do.'
Yakutiye Mayor Ali Korkut issued a written statement concerning
Nesibe Turan's move to garbage duty, saying 'Four towns were put
under the umbrella of Yakutiye by a order of the council of ministers.
In one fell swoop the municipality was full of workers so they were
distributed to other places. Of the 530 who were released elsewhere
only four came back. We met with them and insisted that they not
return but they too insisted.'
Mayor Korkut said that they are trying to forge an identity institution-
ally. Included in his statement was this explanation: 'We told these
individuals that there would be no position or place for them in the
organization. The only place they could go was sanitation. They knew
this when they came back. This is how we gave these four people over
to garbage duty. Women and men work in sanitation departments the
world over. We've taken them in but we won't change the way we're
proceeding on the road to institutionalization.'