Solidarity with the Protest Movement in Turkey PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Monday, 01 July 2013 17:23


The brutal crackdown on protests at the end of May in Istanbul's Taksim Square has

triggered a massive wave of protests across Turkey. A coalition of organizations

including trade unions has issued demands which trade unionists everywhere will support.

These include: free all those arrested; drop all charges against them; hold accountable

those responsible for the police violence; and lift all bans on meetings and demonstrations.


On June 17 the Turkish trade union centres, DISK and KESK, organised nationwide

strikes as the government of Prime Minister Erdogan, stepped up violent repression of

demonstrators protesting the government’s autocratic rule. The police have started to

arrest individual protesters in large-scale operations, including raiding and arresting

protesters in their homes. In response to the trade unions strike, the government

threatened to bring in the military, which would mark a serious escalation of

repression against the protesters.


According to the unions, the government is pushing for subcontracting and privatizing public

sector work, which is difficult to organize. Strikers are protesting a bill that would cancel the

hopes of many temporary and contracted workers for permanent jobs and roll back various

rights for public sector workers. For instance, one issue is protections against night shifts for

women workers from the beginning of a pregnancy until a year after their maternity leave.

Another is the elimination of overtime pay for workers in many public institutions.


The government has increased its repression of union activists. Last year Turkish police took

71 union members and leaders into custody, after raiding the KESK offices and searching

members’ homes. They were charged with “being a member of an illegal organization”

for participating in meetings and strikes. Some of those leaders are still in jail.


Striking workers wore black armbands, demanding a “decent life, secure employment

and future security, democratic Turkey”. Chants include “Erdogan resign”, “shoulder

to shoulder against fascism,” and “resisting workers will win.”


We stand in solidarity with the Turkish trade union and working class movement

in their struggle against autocratic rule.





Last Updated on Monday, 01 July 2013 17:28



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