Trade Union arrests: Egitim Sen Trade Union Central Management Council statement

We will not give in to the AKP arrest system! Our friends who are under arrest must be released!

Turkey wakes up each morning to a new wave of arrests. The AKP is trying to silence and intimidate every opposition voice, all different views, by using repression and arrests.

Today it carried out operations in 28 towns and cities early in the morning, arresting 167 people, among them members of KESK (Confederation of Workers in the Public Sector).

Among those detained are Akman Simsek, member of the board of KESK, as well as his wife Mehtap Simsek. Numerous members and office-holders of our trade union  have been detained, accompanied by the scenarios already known to us. The central office of KESK was visited by the police.

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Trade Union raids: KESK Statement

This is the text of a statement by our confederation KESK’s management board entitled ‘We will not be silent! We will resist! Repression cannot intimidate us!’.

The AKP’s “advanced democracy ” continues with a daily glut of arrests and imprisonment. But it has always been seen that this allegedly “advanced democracy” was built on hostility to labour and democracy, and like authoritarian and fascist regimes it detains and imprisons its opponents.

We have seen most recently that the AKP shows there is no part of the country where its empire of fear is not determined to cast its shadow. It is quickly dragging Turkey towards the image it has formed of a one-man dictatorship; its aim is to condemn the whole of society to deep silence by putting its opposition-democratic sections through the mangler. For this reason it sees no problem in using illegal imputations to detain and imprison everyone who raises their voice against its empire of fear, be they students, lawyers, trade unionists or journalists. In short, everyone who wants to live a decent life in a democratic country continues to be targeted.

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UNITE passes motion to support union members in Turkey

We are happy to receive news that the following motion was passed at the UNITE policy conference held in Brighton in June. We’d like to thank Alain Herztmann at the London North West Branch 9708 of Unite for proposing the motion and for his and his branches long term support and friendship with the Kurds.

MOTION

WORKERS IN TURKEY

This Conference commits itself to support workers in Turkey and their trade unions. It also supports the right of the Kurdish people in Turkey to self determination.

The AKP is the dominant party in Turkey and is has governed Turkey for several years. It is presenting itself as a moderate Islamic party. It projects itself as a moderate, modernising, democratic party, successful in developing the national economy on the basis of a neo-liberal economic agenda. De facto it has done so by a severe, ruthless exploitation of working people, implementing laws on:

“Flexible” work (outsourcing and off shoring)

“Flexible” wages (poverty wages even under the minimum wage level) Continue reading

Protest against the arrest of human rights campaigner, Osman Isci, and 27 trade unionists

29th June 2012

In a joint statement, the organisations listed below have expressed their concerns about the arrest of 28 trade unionists, amongst them being Osman Isci.

Contents: 1. Background 2. Demands 3. Signatories 4. Contacts 5. Websites

Background

On 28th/29th June 2012, the Heavy Penal Court (12) in Ankara issued a warrant of arrest against Osman Isci, a member of the human rights group IHD, of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network  EMHRN, and the education trade union Egitim-Sen, which in turn belongs to the Confederation of Trade Unions for Public Services. Another 27 trade unionists were also taken into custody under the charge of membership to an illegal organisation according to article 314 of the Turkish Penal Code. 25 trade unionists were released, but can expect to face trial.

All suspects were arrested for the charge, so-called the “city-structure” of the PKK, of belonging to the Union of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK). As well as the education trade union Egitim-Sen, the trade unions of the SES (Occupations in Health and Social Services), the BTS (Occupations in Transportation), and representatives of these trade unions in the provinces of Ankara, Diyarbakir, Istanbul, Agri, Bitlis, Siirt, Adana and Eskisehir were also affected. Continue reading

Education International: Sign urgent appeal to condemn the arrests of female union officers!

Educational International (EI) and European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) strongly condemn the police raid against union members of the Confederation of Public Employees’ Unions (KESK) on 13 February in Ankara, in connection with the 8 March celebrations. Fifteen women union leaders were dragged from their bed and taken into custody. The union offices and personal computers were also searched. Continue reading

CENI Statement: Arbitrary Detentions of Woman Trade Unionist in Turkey

Cenî – Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace  has released this statement about recent raids of the offices of trade unions in Turkey, in which 15 women trade union members were taken into custody. You can also download a statement condemning the arrests by the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) here (pdf).

Egitim Sen general secretary visit to UK cancelled due to arrests

A visit by Mr Mehmat Bozgeyik, the General Secretary of Egitim Sen, the Turkish Teachers union, has been cancelled last minute due to the increasing repression experienced by members of his union. Stephen Smellie, the branch secretary of UNISON South Lanarkshire, has written this letter in response to what he calls ‘an attack on the effective functioning of the union’, along with an appeal written in collaboration with Peace in Kurdistan Campaign, and a draft motion for union members to discuss within their organisation (which can be found below): Continue reading