Turkey: Stop the judicial harassment against unionists
On January 13th, the first hearing of the case of 502 persons – one of the highest number of defendants ever tried – including the President and General Secretary of KESK, will be held in Ankara. They were charged with causing damage to public properties and using inappropriate violence during a strike and demonstration on 28-29 March 2012 in Ankara, which was ended after a police attack.
As a result of the police attack, two demonstrators were severely wounded. A complaint was lodged against the police officers for the damages caused by their violent attack but no criminal proceeding has been launched.
On 23-24 January, the first hearing of a lawsuit against KESK’s members and leaders will be held in Istanbul. They were arrested during a police raid carried out 19th February in the whole country. Overall, 167 persons were arrested on that day, and 28 of them are kept in prisons pending trials.
Both hearings will be attended by an international trade union delegation, including the ITUC and the ETUC, to show solidarity with Turkish trade unionists.
The ITUC strongly condemns the Turkish government’s judicial harassment against trade unionists in Turkey and denounces the abuse of the Turkish legal system by the authorities, an abuse that hinders the trade union movement and in particular KESK.
Turkey must immediately release all the union members arrested under unproven connections to illegal organisations as well as lift all bans on meetings and demonstrations.
The ITUC also urges the Turkish government to halt all repression against trade unions, whose members are only practicing their legal trade union rights including organising and engaging in peaceful union activities.
Take action now and tell the government of Turkey to stop judicial harassment against trade unionists.