‘I am here’: women workers’ experiences at the former Cibali Tekel Tobacco and Cigarette Factory in Istanbul
This study presents oral history research which investigated the experiences of surviving women workers from the former Cibali Tekel Tobacco and Cigarette Factory in Istanbul Turkey. For most of its history the factory was home to thousands of workers many of who were women and at times outnumbered men two to one. While the site is now known for the university that it houses photographs and archival records from the early twentieth century reveal the centrality of women in the process and production of tobacco and cigarettes until the factory completely shut down in 1995. Using oral history methods we recorded the memories of 17 women who worked in the factory. A multi-faceted analysis reveals the gendered nature of the space at the time as well as the importance of the factory as a place in the lives of these women. © 2017 Informa UK Limited trading as Taylor & Francis Group.