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Sweatshops in the silk industry of the Bursa region and the workers’ strikes in 1910

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Based on archival material including silk workers’ letters and telegraphs sent to the state authorities, including the sultan, and to the newspapers, as well as official correspondence between the local authorities in Bursa and the government, the article examines the strikes which occurred in the silk industry in Bursa and Bilecik in 1910. The silk factory workers, mostly female, wanted a decrease in working hours, an increase in their wages and exemption from paying the temettü vergisi (the profit tax). These demands were accepted neither by the factory owners nor by the government and in consequence the workers went on strike in August 1910. The strike, however, was unsuccessful.


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