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Turkish strike

The 1973 strike of Ford workers – most of them labour migrants from Turkey – in the Ford factories in Cologne became known as the “Turkish strike”. The strike lasted from August 24 to 31 August 1973 and had no union support, thus rendering it wildcat strike. The media coined the term “Turkish strike” or “strike of the Turks” (“Türkenstreik”) in their mainly negative coverage of the events. The media did not focus on the workers’ demands but rather declared the strike events a clash of cultures and reported in a defamatory way, publishing headlines like “Turkish Terror at Ford” (BILD-Zeitung). Therefore, term is problematic due to its negative history of origin but also because people of other nationalities participated as well and because of the danger of an ethnicisation and trivialising of the strike.