A group of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) workers, fired by the new administration, launched a sit-in protest in front of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) headquarters in Istanbul. The workers said they would continue the sit-in protest until they got their jobs back. Since his election, Istanbul's CHP Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu has fired many workers reportedly due to political views. The move was in clear violation of İmamoğlu's election promises saying he would respect the rights of all people. The fired workers had launched the protest in front of the municipality, before moving to protest in front of the CHP provincial headquarters in Istanbul's Beyoğlu district.
Mehmet Akgün, a security personnel who was dismissed from his duty, said they all want their jobs back. "We did not commit any crime there. We served Istanbul; we became the servants of Istanbul."
Reminding the newly elected Istanbul mayor about his election promises, Akgün said they expect İmamoğlu and CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to deliver on their promises and give their jobs back. Münife Fırat, a security personnel for the Parks and Gardens Directorate, said: "We were dismissed from our jobs through a text message. Our park has been closed due to a lack of staff." Arzu Çakır, another worker fired from her job at the municipal services hoped that their voices would be heard. The firings took place following the Qurban Bayram (Eid al-Adha) holiday, catching people off guard. The first department that had to face the bad news was MEDYA AŞ, which lost 63 out of 184 employees. The Istanbul Electric Tram and Tunnel Company (İETT) followed, losing 850 of its drivers by the end of August.
BELTUR, on the other hand, has lost 175 of its workers so far. At ISPARK, another branch of the municipality which provides parking services throughout the city, 238 workers have been fired by the new administration.
With the inclusion of all the other departments of the municipality, the total number of fired workers has reached 1,400. Although the size of the numbers is surprising by itself, another unexpected occurrence were statements by the fired personnel, who said that they were fired without any justification.
Until now, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has not given a positive response to workers who want their jobs back.
Two weeks ago President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the CHP for firing people from the municipalities, reiterating that the CHP assured voters before the elections that they would not fire anyone from the municipalities if they win.