Arzu Çerkezoğlu, who was also the first woman Secretary General of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK), has become the first woman Chair of the DİSK since it was established in 1967.
Kani Beko, the former Chair of the Confederation, resigned from his post after he became an MP candidate of the main opposition party Republican People’s Party (CHP). Upon the resignation of Beko, who has been nominated as the İzmir MP candidate of the CHP, the General Assembly of the DİSK took a vote to elect a new Chairperson for the Confederation.
After the vote, Arzu Çerkezoğlu has been elected the new Chair of the DİSK, being the first woman to be elected to this post in the Confederation since its establishment in 1967. Cafer Konca has been elected the new Secretary General of the DİSK.
Arzu Çerkezoğlu was born in the province of Artvin, Turkey in 1967. She started her medicine studies at the Medical Faculty of İstanbul University in 1986. Çerkezoğlu started working as a practicing physician in 1994 and completed her specialization in Pathology in 2004.
During her university years, she was the Founding Secretary General of the İstanbul Student Associations Federation (İÖDF). After starting to work as a physician, she also took part in the union struggle of the healthcare workers. She was, first, the Branch Chair of the All Healthcare and Social Service Workers’ Union (Tüm Sağlık-Sen) and, then, the Branch Chair of the Healthcare and Social Service Laborers’ Union (SES) for three terms.
Being a member of the Progressive Health Workers’ Union (Dev Sağlık-İş), one of the member trade unions of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK), since 2001, Çerkezoğlu worked as the Secretary General of the Union between the years 2004 and 2007. In 2007, she was elected the Chair of the Dev Sağlık-İş.
Arzu Çerkezoğlu was also the Secretary General of the DİSK between the years of 2013 and 2018. Çerkezoğlu was elected the first woman Secretary General of the Confederation in 2013. (TS/ÇT/SD)