State of being ignored 

Sevim Celeb  

Road, Construction, Infrastructure, Public Works, Civil Protection,  Public Sector Employees Trade Union – Yapı-Yol Sen

I was employed in the highways directorate. I was a construction technician. I was a founding member ıf Yapı-Yol Sen. We enthusiastically joined the marches on Ankara, demanding changes in the legislation in the Law on Trade Unions. We started to get prepared a day before our trip to Ankara. Many women were present. We slept in the meeting space in Ankara for a couple of days. We were gassed. There was coloured-water, violence. But in such mass demonstrations the police forces were not effective, because hundreds of thousands were there. We stayed up all night in Kızılay Square in Ankara on June 15 – 16. There were around a hundred thousand people.  At that time, we criticized the police forces a lot, but they did not directly target people when throwing gas bombs. Now they directly target the people. It is worse now. 

Male members of the union had a male-dominant perspective. As a woman you talk in the meetings, but your words are not considered. Men mostly prioritise their talks and discussions. In other words, when you say something, it is not considered important. You talk, but it is just that. The views that are taken into consideration are those of the male members. Men mostly value their own talks and ideas; they act upon these talks and ideas. There was not real repression, but our views were not being considered. This, too, is a form of repression. You are ignored. This used to annoy me a lot. 

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

To listen to Sevim Celeb’s oral history interview of 2016 (in Turkish) click below.