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In the Ayazağa neighborhood of Şişli, Istanbul, some
workers from among 4,000 at a work site on Atatürk
Boulevard have allegedly been verbally harassing local
women lately. A few of these workers went to an amusement
park nearby the evening before last and again taunted a
The neighborhood youth beat up the harassing workers who
went back to their work site, gathered up 200 friends and
returned to the amusement park. The workers, bearing bats,
searched for the youths and then headed toward the
neighborhood. Hearing this, about 400 neighborhood residents
flooded on to the streets.
Both sides went after each other with bats and rocks. The
local youth erected barricades and set refuse afire. Police
units intervened but some citizens and a journalist were
nevertheless injured by the bats and rocks. After five hours
the battle ended and police held vigil until morning. A large
number of workers, fearing for their safety, packed up and
went back to their home villages.
Neighborhood residents who talked to Sabah claimed that
the workers at the work site were quite rowdy. Sabri
Arslan, president of the Professional Projects Association,
who lives in an apartment opposite the work site, said that
''they were verbally harassing the women. The apartment
faces the work site. They're walking around naked there.
When we complained they put up a curtain.''
Construction worker Nuri Berksoy, though, said that
''this wasn't a harassment issue. There was provocation.
The youths were shouting 'Kurds, terrorists, get out of
here'. What would a terrorist be doing here? We're just
trying to earn a living.''
A group of 15 workers said to have been involved in the
fight were screened by the police and evicted from the