İlknur Birol

Efforts and labour of thousands of women  

İlknur Birol

Education and Science Workers’ Union-Eğitim Sen, İstanbul, from the 1990s to the 2010s

The history of KESK is obliged to all the women with whom we walked together, we stayed up all night, with whom we thrived, with whom we learned together; to all of our women friends who passed away and who are still alive. Thousands of women put their labour into the organisation; some of whom we know personally, some we don’t, some who paid a high price, some whose burdens none of us is aware of.   … KESK women have influenced women’s discussions in the working class movement. The translation of women’s struggle into the labour vocabulary by the women in the public servants movement has a significant role in the recognition of the need to form women’s commissions, women’s desks, and women’s training programmes in workers’ unions. Probably, we were the first women to chair workers’ unions. 

To read the full text of İlknur Birol’s oral history interview of 2016 (in Turkish) click here.

To watch the video by İlknur Birol on March 4, 1998 where she talks about Ankara Meeting and on a part her speech from the same meeting (in Turkish) click below.