Millions of Turkish workers walked off the job (pictured) and into the streets on Thursday in solidarity with laid-off state tobacco firm employees.
Public services including transport were disrupted across the country and the largest demonstrations were reported in Ankara, where around 20,000 massed, and Izmir, where 15,000 flooded the city centre.
Workers also walked out at the Zonguldak coal mine, railway factories and a fireworks factory.
According to Turkish law, workers are not allowed to hold a general strike or organise solidarity strikes.
But the six union confederations that called the action explained that it was incumbent upon them to show concrete solidarity with the Tekel workforce and thereby uphold the terms and conditions of all Turkish workers.
In 2008, Prime Minister Recep Erdogan sold Tekel tobacco-leaf processing facilities to British American Tobacco.
Then in December, managers told laid-off employees that they would be redeployed to other parts of the public sector as "temporary personnel," meaning that they were expected to swallow reduced employment rights and pay cuts of up to 40 per cent.
Public Workers Unions Confederation of Turkey chairman Bircan Aky?ld?z said that the government wanted to impose a "system that means lack of security, lack of severance pay, lack of unionisation and poorly paid workers who can be laid off at any time."
And the Confederation of Trade Unions of Public Employees issued a statement which chided Mr Erdogan's administration for "acting on the assumption that nobody would support the Tekel workers who were carelessly made redundant.
"Tekel workers have lit a torch to enlighten the darkness of years and we will not have that torch extinguished."