On 1 May, the international day of unity, struggle and solidarity of the working class, workers and public labourers took to the streets in almost all provinces of Turkey, as they did all over the world.
The call made by DISK, KESK, TMMOB, TTB and TDB was joined by other labour and mass organisations.
Thousands of unionised and non-unionised workers, public labourers, pensioners, retirees, immigrants and poor people from all walks of life came together with their flags and banners in almost every city, especially in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.
In Istanbul, two separate marching columns were formed for the march, one in the direction of Kartal and the other in the direction of Süreyyapaşa. The march started at 12 o’clock as planned.
In addition to the members of the calling organisations (DİSK, KESK, TMMOB, TTB and TDB), the cortege of unions affiliated to Türk-İş, mass organisations struggling for rights and freedoms, and political parties marched in large numbers.
The entrance of the cortege to the Maltepe area could not be completed even one and a half hours later than planned.
Asalettin Arslanoğlu from DISK and Ayfer Koçak from KESK greeted those entering the area.
At the rally, which was hosted by artist labourer Orhan Alkaya, Ruhi Su Dostlar and Mesopotamia Culture choirs sang 4 workers’ anthems together. Click here to listen to the 1 May anthem sung by the choir.
After the completion of the choir’s programme, Orhan Alkaya recited the oath of 1 May 2023 with the participation of the whole area.
DISK President Arzu Çerkezoğlu, KESK Co-President Şükran Kablan Yeşil, TMMOB Chairman Emir Koramaz, TTB Central Council President Şebnem Korur Fincancı and TDB Central Board President Ahmet Tarık İşmen made speeches on behalf of the organisations they represent.
DISK President Arzu Çerkezoğlu mentioned the following in her speech:
For years, we have been living in a regime dominated by injustice, lawlessness, prohibitionism, lies and plunder.
In this order, they have impoverished us all; they have stolen our labour, our bread; they have usurped our freedoms, our right to union, our right to strike, our rights; they have destroyed justice.
They have used, plundered and polluted the stones, soil, water and air of this beautiful country as their own wealth.
The deeds of this power of destruction cannot be counted.
They turned the earthquake, a natural disaster, into a catastrophe. We paid a very, very painful price for this.
Today we are celebrating 1 May in a very historical period for our country.
We will change this order, we will build the Turkey of equality, freedom, justice, peace, brotherhood and sisterhood, the Turkey of labour with our own hands, especially the working class, which reproduces life every day.
We believe that 1 May 2023 will be the last 1 May where Taksim is banned.
May our holiday be happy and our path be clear.
Click here to watch the whole speech.
After the speeches, a video clip prepared by 50 sound artists and presented for the first time, Lovers have a Promise; 1 May Halay video clip was presented.
In the last part of the 1 May 2023 Istanbul rally, the jointly prepared 1 May declaration was performed by 3 workers in three languages; Turkish, Kurdish and Arabic.
At the end of the rally, the participants left the area by walking to the dispersal points with the cortege they formed with their banners and flags, just as they did when they arrived.
Click here for images from 1 May rallies in Turkey.
“Let’s be 1” modern ballet performance on 1 May
As part of the 1 May 2023 events, a modern ballet performance was organised at the invitation of our Confederation DİSK.
The modern ballet “Gelin 1 Olalım” (Let’s Be 1), prepared and presented by the Mercan Selçuk Dance Troupe, showcased the different colours of our country, accompanied by anonymous folk melodies and local steps.
The performance, which was held on 1 May at 20:00 on the evening of 1 May at Caddebostan Cultural Centre, was attended by the members of the Executive Board of DISK and the executives and members of the unions affiliated to DISK.
DISK President Arzu Çerkezoğlu gave a short speech to the participants at the end of the performance. Click here for the speech,
— DİSK (@diskinsesi) May 1, 2023