More arrests of Turkish trade unionists - take action now!

February 27, 2013
demonstrators in Turkey holding a KESK banner
Latest update: 72 members of the public sector union were released from jail on 10 April, some after nearly ten months of detention. The bad news is that the charges were not dropped and they all need to appear in court again in July. Another 15 union leaders, all of them women, are due to appear in court on 18 April.

On 19 February, Turkish police arrested 151 trade union representatives and trade union members.  The police have accused the trade unionists of links with terrorist organisations. Most of the arrested persons are members of KESK, the Confederation of Public Employees, and its affiliated unions. These arrests follow the detention of 15 female trade unionists on 15 February 2012 and over 67 members of KESK on 25 June 2012. Many of them are still in jail without facing clear charges and without proper trial.

The European Commission, European governments, international human rights organisations and others have expressed their deep concern about the situation.

Public Services International, the European Federation of Public Services Unions, the International Trade Union Confederation and Education International are launching a major new campaign demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all the arrested union members. We also demand that the Turkish state stop harassing and labelling trade unionists as terrorists.

Read about the campaign on Labourstart and send a letter to Prime Minister Erdogan.

Please share this campaign with your members and contacts.  With your help, we are hoping to obtain 20,000 signatures to send an unprecedented strong message to the Turkish government.

Please find below the letter sent by EPSU to the Turkish authorities.

Thank you for your solidarity.