Turkish truckers strike against Istanbul regulations

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Turkish truckers strike against Istanbul regulations

Truck drivers delivering fresh fruit and vegetables from a major agricultural region in Turkey suspended transportations yesterday in protest over a bridge closure, the local press has reported. Fatih_Sultan_Mehmet_Bridge_04 - Wikimedia Commons - small

Transport drivers, who carry most of the fruit and vegetables from the Antalya region to the Turkish capital of Istanbul as well as all over the country, are demonstrating against a dictate which has closed a bridge, the Hϋrriyet Daily News (HDN) reported.

According to the English-language daily, approximately 1,500 carriers from 10 cooperatives in the southern province, downed tools and turned off their ignitions yesterday morning to signal the start of a four-day suspension.

The row centers on a heavy vehicle ban that restricts access to Istanbul’s Fatih Sultan Mehmet (FSM) Bridge between 7am and 10am and 4pm and 8pm.

It is understood the drivers are demanding the regulation be changed in order for them to pass through the bridge. They are concerned the bridge ban will add time onto journeys because they will get caught up in congestion, which will have a negative affect on the health of the fruit and vegetables on board.

The HDN report says the head of Antalya Carriers Cooperation, Ahmet Uyar, claims the suspension could last up to 15 days if a resolution is not found after the initial four-day delay, asserting that he has the support of other cooperatives across the country.

The strike comes after union representatives met with local authorities in November 2013 to discuss how the bridge ban would negatively affect them.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons



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