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PSI condemns brutal bomb attacks

14 October 2015
Photo: Turkey peace rally. Creative Commons: Jonny Dickens
Public Services International condemns the brutal bomb attacks in Ankara on 10 October, killing 96 people and wounding 250 peaceful demonstrators. PSI affiliates, members of the DISK and KESK confederations, participated in a peace rally calling for an end to the renewed violence between Kurdish rebels and Turkish security forces.

"There was a massacre in the middle of Ankara," said Lami Ozgen, head of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions, or KESK. "Two bombs exploded in very short intervals. Police is obstructing access of ambulances to the wounded.”

The explosions occurred minutes apart near Ankara's train station as over 100 000 people gathered for the rally organized by the country's public sector workers' trade union. While people were dying in the streets, the police obstructed ambulances from reaching them. On Sunday 11 October, police blocked mourners from laying carnations at the site. It was not clear if the attacks were suicide bombings. The attack comes weeks before Turkey's elections on 1st November.

In a letter to the DISK and KESK confederations, PSI expresses support for the national strike held on 12 and 13 October, which was successful in closing down public services around the country, while in the private sector picketlines and commemoration meetings were organized. The fact that police detained protesters at these protests and disturbed funerals, is outrageous and another indication of the contempt of this government for its people.

Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary says,

“We call on the Turkish government to provide immediate assistance to the victims of the bomb attacks in Ankara, and to stop all attacks on the Kurdish population. Yesterday [9 October] the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, including trade union UGTT. This is the example that the Turkish government should take seriously. Open to dialogue with trade unions and democratic organizations to stop the spiral of violence and discrimination that is poisoning the country”.

Pavanelli continues, “This is the message that the union delegations attending the upcoming events of GFMD and L20 should bring to Turkey, calling on the Turkish government to respect unions and protect minorities.”

PSI extends its deepest condolences and solidarity with the struggle of the Turkish people for freedom, peace and human rights. We will continue to stand in solidarity against violence, oppression and corporate greed.

PSI affiliates can send solidarity messages to:

Read a message from Turkish trade unions about the bombings

Also see