From the TUC

Turkish unions protest for peace

28 Dec 2015, By

While many trade unionists in the west are relaxing due to the gains of trade unionism (like holidays), workers in other parts of the world are still struggling for what we consider essential. Like our Turkish trade union colleagues who will be striking on Tuesday for peace and against war.

DISK and KESK, the left-wing private and public sector trade union confederations, are calling a day-long strike against government-led military operations in south-eastern Anatolia. They will be joined by the Turkish Doctors’ Union (TTB) and the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB).

Earlier this month, Turkish security forces claimed to have killed more than 180 militants linked to the Kurdish PKK, and thousands of troops and tanks have been sent to attack resistance in mainly Kurdish districts, which have been under a 24-hour curfew since mid-December. Civilians and democratic organisations have been caught in the middle of the conflict, and are suffering the effects of the growing turmoil.

The strike organisers said that:

“There is an attempt to suppress the labour and democracy forces objecting to the AKP’s [the governing party] war policies. In order to warn the ruling party, we will not provide services by harnessing our power from production which includes our democratic reactions.”

“The country is being dragged into war step by step by clashes and massacres as cities and living areas being surrounded … irrevocably dragging our people into chaos.”

DISK and KESK have previously protested after terrorist incidents in Ankara and – jointly with Russian unions – in the aftermath of the recent downing of a Russian plane by Turkish forces.