Friday, July 27, 2012

The Porters of Gazibey Make a Living the Hard Way

Almost 400 Roma families live in Gazibey neighbourhood of Malkara district of Tekirdağ (Thracia, Turkey). Most of the residents of Gazibey neighbourhood, which established with settling of Roma migrating from Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, work as porters under hard circumstances.

Between 150-200 families subsist on porting in Gazibey neighbourhood in where 400 Roma families live. There also families who subsist on pedlar's trade (50-60), horse-carriage driving (20-25), neighbourhood trade (grocers-barbers ext.10-15), fish selling (5), shoe shining (8). More than 20 women subsist on house cleaning. 

The biggest problem of Roma porters living in Gazibey neighbourhood is being unable to find jobs regularly. Roma porters who generally work intensively between june and august do rice porting between september and october. Rice porters who work in Karpuzlu town of İpsala district of Edirne bag and array crusty rice massed by combine harvester. When the period of rice porting finishes, the period of unemployment for Roma porters starts in Gazibey neighbourhood. 

Only 25 family prepare heating boilers in the apartment buildings of Malkara to make money. The rest of the porters are almost completely incomeless in winter. They try to survive with what they win in summer. However most of them are not able to make enough money to subsist in winters and are obligated to become indepted. In many families who work as porters, generations work together. There are some young porters high-school graduated among porters. Roma porters who have no social security are aggrieved when  they have an occupational accident.

Roma families of Gazibey make a living the hard way. Roma of Gazibey, who dream a better life for their children than they have, hope young Roma will be educated better and have a chance to work in regular jobs.

Source: Media Roma Tekirdağ

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