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Turkey – Standup comedy as Marx, special

By • Jan 21st, 2010 • Category: News & Analysis

Source: Sendika.Org –

performance for TEKEL workers

First it started as a book. Using the distinct northern Turkish dialect, enriched with smart and witty jokes, Marx was reintroduced to readers in Turkey. The book was sold out very soon after its release.

Then it became a stand up performance. Since this show opened its curtains last year, it entertained and educated more than 28,000 people with more than 112 performances.

This year’s first performance carries a special meaning. It will be performed to the heroic Tekel public workers at the Turk-Is union confederation building where the workers have been struggling for more than 22 days. Workers have been resisting to defend their benefits and against contracting and privatizations.

The ruling Justice and Democracy Party (JDP) which has championed free market austerity measures dictated by the IMF, the World Bank and the US recently announced that the workers struggle had no more than 300 supporters, all “union bosses,” and that the workers did not support this action.

The workers response was to hold a referendum to decide whether to continue with the resistance or not. Overwhelming vote, held at every Tekel plant location, resulted in workers demand to escalate the resistance against the government and the bosses. The decision to escalate includes a massive march to the state’s capital on January 14th, holding wide spread sit-in’s, and hunger strikes.

Solidarity from all progressive organizations poured and continues to pour to the Tekel workers who endured a brutal attack in Ankara by the police who attacked their peaceful congregation with water cannons and tear gas.

The Marx in the northern Laz dialect will perform for the workers. Yesterday, a committee from The International Istanbul Labor Film Festival paid a solidarity visit to the Tekel workers as well. The festival will be bringing the labor films to the workers for special screening and will hold discussions after each film.


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