The women of Breskens

Arrival bus, Tolhuislaan, ca. 1979-1982

Time period: 1970-1981
Number of interviews: 10
Accessibility: Reading room, one-time registration and login
Transcripts: Not available
Medium: mp4 - files

Between 1970 and 1981, dozens of Turkish women from Ghent worked in a fish filleting factory in Breskens, the Netherlands. Today, 40 years later, we are looking for the stories of these women. Did you or a family member work at Diepvries Breskens and will you or they testify about this? 
The women from Ghent lived mainly in the districts Rabot, Muide and Sluizeken-Tolhuis-Ham. With a company bus, they were picked up at Tolhuislaan in the early morning and drove along the Ghent Canal Zone to their final destination: Diepvries Breskens.

Amsab-ISG owns a series of photos by Lieve Colruyt showing diligently working women, sometimes diligently filleting fish, other times looking straight into the lens. Why did these women go to work in Breskens? Was there no work in Ghent? How did they experience the work there?


Neslihan Dogan

Masterproef voorgelegd voor het behalen van de graad master in de richting Conflict en Development

“Door onze hulp werden ze arbeiders. Ik heb vier jaar voor hen gezorgd.”

Turkse migrantenvrouwen van de eerste generatie over moederschap, arbeid en netwerken in gent, 1960 – 1979


Neslihan Dogan interviews, 2019 – 2020


Under pseudonyms:

  1. Interview with Ayse, 23/01/2019
  2. Interview with Dicle, 18/09/2019
  3. Interview with Elif, 19/09/2019
  4. Interview with Gönül, 22/11/2019
  5. Interview with Cemile, 18/12/2019
  6. Interview with Sevilay, 27/01/2020
  7. Interview with Canan, 06/02/2020
  8. Interview with Türkan, 19/06/2020
  9. Interview with Tülay, 27/06/20
  10. Interview with Ulviye, 28/06/2020

Artikel Neslihan Dogan in Brood & Rozen | Folio, journal for the history of social movements:

Op zoek naar de vrouw naast de Turkse gastarbeider

Vrouwen in de visfileerfabriek in Breskens. Foto: © Lieve Colruyt (Amsab-ISG)