Turkey’s Shame, by Mary Davis

Mary Davis, prominent trade unionist, academic and new patron of the Peace in Kurdistan campaign, recently wrote this piece on the KCK trial of 69 union members which featured in the Morning Star. Professor Davis recently travelled to north Kurdistan on a solidarity delegation in support of a variety of women’s groups working in the area.

 

Turkey’s shame

11 October 2012

The trial of 69 Kurdish trade union organisers which started yesterday should remind the world of the continued denial of democratic and national rights in Turkey. These trade unionists are being prosecuted under the country’s anti-terrorist legislation for being leaders of the Kurdish Communities Union (KCM).

The government claims that the KCM has links with the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Their actual crimes consist of organising demonstrations and taking part in strikes.

Eight thousand people have been arrested under this legislation over the past four years. Almost 6,000 are still in detention – including many women.

Today around 20 million Kurds live within Turkey. They do so as a result of the arbitrary carve-up of the Middle East after the first world war by Britain and France.

The new states of Iraq (British), Syria (French) and a residual Turkey all contained sizeable Kurdish minorities, as did north-west Persia (modern Iran), another British dependency.

Read the rest of the article on the Morning Star website.

 

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First impressions from women delegates to North Kurdistan

“More and more women are becoming politically active and so the number of women in prison is rising too.”

First impressions and meetings of the delegation

Since 6th July 2012 a women delegation, with 12 participants from England and Germany in total, has been in North Kurdistan. Amongst the participants are representatives of different women’s rights and human rights organisations, as well as the well-known trade unionist and member of the women’s committee of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Professor Mary Davis.

The delegation was initiated by the Kurdish Women’s Office for Peace (Ceni) and supported by the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign in London, in order to give the work of the women’s academies a wider publicity; to strengthen the exchanges between women’s projects, women’s rights and human rights initiatives in Kurdistan and Europe, and to learn from each other; as well as to show practical international solidarity in the face of the increased repression by the Turkish state against the women’s movement and trade union movement.
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