Turkish Cultural Workers Plan Hunger Strike

The KSED press conference announcing the cultural workers’ hunger strike in TurkeyPhoto via: Hyperallergic
The KSED press conference announcing the cultural workers’ hunger strike in Turkey
Photo via: Hyperallergic

The Association of Culture and Art Workers (Kültür Sanat Emekçileri Derneği, or KSED) in Turkey is set to start a hunger strike to protest against the mass underemployment that is plaguing the country’s cultural sector, Art Media Agency reports.

According to Hyperallergic, the hunger strike has been devised in direct response to the government’s failure to hire 50 new cultural workers, as it had promised.

Museum employees, archaeologists, art historians, restorers, and visual artists will gather in the Sıhhiye Abdi İpekçi Park in Ankara from November 9 to begin their dramatic response against the rampant precarity of their sector. Students, participating in solidarity, will join the professionals.

This desperate measure will be staged in the hope of persuading the Turkish government to adopt a more proactive approach to their predicament. In a press statement, KSED President Hızır İnan berated the continued “negligence” of successive governments to address the unemployment situation, which the association considers to be akin to neglecting Turkey’s constitutional obligation to protect cultural heritage.

Binnur Çelebi, vice president of KSED, explained the employment crisis with telling figures, according to Hyperallergic. Çelebi argued that in the 1930s, nearly 300 specialists were employed to work in 30 museums. By the 1990s, less than 500 professionals were expected to run more than 300 museums.


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