Metal worker Dilbent Türker became a union member during her struggle for rights at her workplace. She was later elected a Central Board Member of the All Automotive and Metal Workers’ Union (TOMİS). She has several lawsuits against her on the charges of “defiance of Law no 2911” for her union activities. Her leg was broken by the police while attending the demonstration for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25th, 2022.
Union rights activist Dilbent Türker was born in the Damal district of Ardahan in 1994. She was a metal worker at Sinbo when the Covid-19 pandemic began. Due to inadequate working conditions, she became a member of TOMİS and ran unionization operations at her workplace. She was forced to take unpaid leave along with five other union member coworkers on September 11th, 2020. They returned back to work after 31 days, following the protest organized by workers in front of the factory. However, even though there was a ban on layoffs due to the pandemic, Dilbent Türker's employment was terminated on January 21st, 2021, based on Code 29 (a legal exception to the ban for behaviors unfitting the rules of ethics and goodwill). This prompted Türker’s struggle of resistance once again, and she was detained countless times during a period that lasted for over a year. She initiated a protest march from the factory to Ankara on July 31st, 2021. During this march, she was detained 11 times in 11 days.
On August 13th, 2021, the police interfered with the protest that was to be held in Ankara at the end of the march, and she was detained once again. An investigation on Türker was filed on the charges of “defying the warning to disperse”. The Public Prosecutor of Ankara made a decision of non-prosecution. However, a public prosecution was filed against Türker when one of the police officers filed a complaint.
Türker was elected a Central Board Member of TOMİS at its 4th Ordinary General Assembly held on December 27th, 2021.
On November 25th, 2022, women that had gathered at the Istanbul Tünel Square for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women were blockaded by the police. Over 200 women were detained on the streets leading to the Taksim Tünel Square and Karaköy as a result of the police attack. The women were assaulted, dragged on the ground, and rear-cuffed during these detentions. One of the detainees was Dilbent Türker. Having joined the protest as part of a socialist women’s work group called the İşçi Emekçi Kadın Komisyonları, Türker’s leg was broken in two places by the police. She was taken to the hospital in a police vehicle while rear-cuffed. She could only have surgery on December 2nd as she was prohibited from reaching out to her close ones and lawyers on the night of her detention.
The November 25 Women’s Platform issued a criminal complaint against the governor, the chief of police, the riot squad, and the chief of the security branch for Türker’s injury. The Prosecutor reached a decision of non-prosecution.