Ekonomi ve Hukuk Dergisi

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    Prof. Dr. Ali Rıza Okur’un anısına…

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  • Adem Sağır
  • Fatih Kaya
Karabük’te Tanıklıklar: Demir Çelik Fabrikalarının Özelleştirilmesinde Tarihi Bir Gün (8 Kasım 1994)

ÖZ

Bu çalışma 1937 yılında Karabük’te kurulan Demir-Çelik İşletmeleri’nin 1980’li yılların ikinci yarısından itibaren küresel ölçekte kabul edilen neoliberal ekonomi politikaları doğrultusunda özelleştirilmesi sürecine odaklanmaktadır. Karabük Demir Çelik İşletmeleri’nin tarihi boyunca ve Karabük’ün kuruluş ve gelişim süreci boyunca karşılaştığı en önemli dönüm noktalarından birisi, 1989- 1994 yılları arasında yaşanan grevler ve işçi hareketleri olmuştur. Karabük, işçi grevleriyle ve grevleri takiben gelen özelleştirme kararıyla sancılı bir süreç geçirmiştir. Süreci özgünleştiren temel nokta benzeri hareketlerin içerisinde bütün şehrin katılımıyla 8 Kasım 1994 günü Karabük’te hayatın dört saat boyunca durmasıdır. İşçi ve sendikaların harekete geçirdiği şehir, siyasi temsilcileri, yerel yönetimi, meclis üyeleri, iş adamları, oda başkanları, gazetecileri, esnafı ve yerel halkıyla özelleştirmeye topyekûn karşı çıkmıştır. Bu bağlamdan hareketle araştırmanın amacı 1989 yılında Demir Çelik İşletmeleri bünyesinde 139 günlük grevin ardından Ocak-1995 günü dönemin hükümetinin yaptığı açıklamaya kadar yaşanan olayları şahitlerin anılarıyla ortaya koymaktır. Araştırmada nitel araştırma deseni kullanılmış ve bilgiler sözlü tarih yöntemiyle toplanmıştır. Çalışmanın sonunda Karabük’ün fabrikanın kapatılmasına karşı yürütülen mücadelenin işçi hareketleri tarihinde özgün bir yöntemle sonuca ulaştığı tespit edilmiştir. Kazanımlar hem işçiler hem de yerel halk tarafından bir başarı olarak görülmüştür.
Anahtar Kelimeler : Neoliberalizm, Grev, İşçi, Demir-Çelik İşletmeleri, Karabük.
Witnesses in Karabuk: A Historical Day the Privatisation of Karabük Iron And Steel Enterprises (8 November 1994)

ABSTRACT

This study focused on the process of privatization of Iron and Steel Works, which was established in Karabük in 1937, in line with neoliberal economic policies since the second half of the 1980s. One of the most important turning points faced by the Karabuk Iron and Steel Works throughout its development process was the strikes and labour movements between 1989 and 1994. The main point that makes the process unique is the four-hour general strike in Karabük on November 8, 1994, with the participation of all the people of the city in the labor movements. The city, which the employees and unions mobilized, opposed privatization altogether with its political representatives, local administration, council members, businessmen, chamber presidents, journalists, tradesmen, and local people. The research used a qualitative research design, and the data were collected using the oral history method. As a result of the study, it has been determined that the struggle of Karabük against the closure of the factory has reached a conclusion with a unique method in the history of workers’ movements. The achievements were considered a success by both the employees and the local people, and the employees became owners of the place where they worked.

Extended Summary

One of the most important turning points in the history of the Karabük Iron and Steel Works were the strikes and workers’ movements between 1989 and 1994. In parallel with the workers’ strikes against the neoliberal policies all across Turkey, Karabük was affected by this process. Karabük went through a painful process with the workers’ strikes and the privatisation decisions that followed the strikes. The main point that makes this process unique is the total support of the people of the city to the anti-privatisation movements in Karabük. On 8 November 1994, life in Karabük came to a standstill for four hours. The city, together with workers and trade unions, political representatives, local administration, councillors, business people, presidents of chambers, journalists, artisans and local people, opposed privatisation. During the protest, main roads were closed, official institutions including schools were not opened, artisans did not open their workplaces, industrial production stopped. The 8th of November, when daily life came to a standstill, is important in the memory of Karabük and a turning point in the history of the working class in Turkey.

This research describes the events that occurred until the government’s statement in January 1995, after the 139-day workers’ strike that started in 1989 in the Iron and Steel Enterprises, with the memories of the witnesses. The research used the qualitative research design and collected the data using the oral history method. Oral history is a research method that uses the experiences and memories of people who have had the opportunity to witness events that are considered historically important. According to Thompson (1990), oral history is an information gathering tool that transforms the content and purpose of history. Çakır (2004), on the other hand, states that oral history is a data collection method that provides important contributions to the creation of new knowledge. Accordingly, it is an important tool in the construction of history and memory by extracting and evaluating personal testimonies or experiences from a certain period from the depths of memory.

In this respect, oral history is useful for understanding the movement that begins with a strike and ends with the cessation of daily life. Purposive sampling was used in this study. Purposive sampling is often preferred in the study of social and cultural processes. The sample group was selected specifically for Karabük and in-depth interviews were conducted with six people. The data were analysed using the techniques of the oral history approach. In the literature, there is no research done in the language of the witnesses of this period. Thus, the concern to reveal the unexplained on 8 November 1994 made the research original.

This study founds that Karabük’s struggle against the closure of the factory came to an end with a unique method in the history of workers’ movements. Karabük city supported the workers’ protests in Turkey very quickly and developed a practice of acting simultaneously with the government’s decisions. The fact that Karabük acted as an organised city at a time when it was still a province was the main context emphasised by the participants. The achievements of the actions were seen as a success by both the workers and the local people. Participants pointed out that the fact that the factory was sold to the workers during the privatisation process was important to show that the workers are the owners of the place where they work. The recent history of events was both an advantage and a disadvantage for the study.

The advantage of the study is that because the witnesses are still alive, one-on-one interviews conducted with them and the process is captured from their point of view. The disadvantage of the study is that the same witnesses did not prefer to talk about the events specific to the city, about how the process was initiated In this context, the emphasis on the deliberate privatisation of the factory is remarkable. The study showed that the period is remembered with nostalgia in the memories of those who have struggled. The basic assumption that feeds this understanding is the lack of motivation to fight a similar struggle today. Undoubtedly, the point reached in Karabük represents a place parallel to the workers’ movements in Turkey. The continuation of neoliberal policies during the AKP period also hampered the sustainability of similar actions in labour history. The same policies also weakened the sense of common belonging and prevented the workers’ memory from acting. For these reasons, it seems reasonable to predict that the workers’ movements failed during the AKP period.

Keywords : Neoliberalism, Strike, Employee, Iron and Steel Enterprises, Karabük.

Kaynak Göster

APA
SAĞIR, A., & KAYA, F., & . ( 2023). Karabük’te Tanıklıklar: Demir Çelik Fabrikalarının Özelleştirilmesinde Tarihi Bir Gün (8 Kasım 1994). Çalışma ve Toplum, 3(78), 2151-2186. https://doi.org/10.54752/ct.1325496