From the TUC

Take action this Friday in solidarity with Turkish unions

19 Jun 2013, By

Turkey solidarity graphic

The TUC is joining with global union federations, UK unions and Turkish community activists this Friday afternoon to express our solidarity with the people of Turkey. We will be gathering outside the Turkish Embassy in Belgrave Square in Knightsbridge from 3pm onwards, and if you are able, we would be glad to see you there! And if you can’t attend, you can still send a message to the Turkish Government.

Protests in Turkey have been underway for three weeks, and there seems to be no solution in sight. As the DISK trade union confederation’s international officer Kivanç Eliaçik wrote on this blog on Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has refused to compromise. The unrest was sparked by attempts to redevelop one of the few green spaces in Istanbul, and the site of most key poltical mobilisations over the years. But as Sean Bamford pointed out earlier this month, that was just the spark that lit up a deep sense of grievance about the lack of rights in Turkey.

The protest on Friday is being organised by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), International Union of Foodworkers (IUF), the TUC and the Taksim Solidarity Committee in London. It’s part of two days of global protest in towns around the world, and we’ll be handing in a protest letter to the Ambassador, asking him to convey our concerns to the Turkish Government. The demands of the protest are:

  • End violence and repression against peaceful protests and to address the demands made by the protestors;
  • Hold those responsible for the thousands of injured people and the deaths of Mehmet Ayval?ta?, Abdullah Cömert, Ethem Sar?sülük and Mustafa Sar? accountable, to dismiss them from their posts and to prosecute them before the law
  • Guarantee the right to freedom of assembly in all public areas, including Taksim square;
  • Ensure that trade unionists who exercise their right to freedom of assembly are not dismissed;
  • Immediately release citizens who have participated in the protests peacefully and to drop all charges against them;
  • Immediately release KESK trade unionists, detained journalists and all others unjustly held for legitimate acts of protests and opposition;
  • Remove all the legal and practical barriers against the exercise of trade union rights and the right to strike;
  • Ensure that injured protestors have access to adequate health care; and
  • Stop prohibitive measures against the use of social media.