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Turkey: trade Union expert İsmet Aslan released from prison

22 May 2013
Ismet Aslan
In Istanbul, trade union expert İsmet Aslan and 14 other suspects were released on 30 April after 16 months in pre-trial custody. This follows the release of 22 KESK members from prison in Ankara on 10 April, after facing baseless terrorism charges and spending 10 months in prison. Those released included members of Public Services International affiliates representing workers in the public sector as well as members of the teachers’ union Eğitim-Sen.

In Istanbul, Prosecutor Murat İnam asked the court to release all of the suspects pending trial, and that the case file be sent to the authorities in Ankara, where, he said, the crimes were committed. The prosecutor also requested the suspects remain under surveillance.

İsmet Aslan was born in 1968 in Kahramanmaraş, Turkey. He is Kurdish and Alevi. He worked as a teacher in Diyarbakir. In 1994, he was arrested and jailed in Diyabakir Prison for nine years because of his political and ethnic identity. Since 2006, he has been working at the headquarters of the Confederation of Public Employees (KESK) as a Law and Collective Agreement expert and he was also a member of the trade union DİSK Sosyal-İş. He was imprisoned in the Tekirdag F type prison (for only three people) since January 17, 2012 because of his political identity and opinions.

As one of the longest-serving trade union experts of KESK that was officially established in 2001; İsmet Aslan is also the memory of the history of KESK. He was involved in the process of amendments in trade union law no 4688 between the Ministry and trade unions for the last three years. One of his tasks was to collect information for the annual survey of violations of trade union rights for the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). After İsmet Aslan’s arrest, all these actions had to stop for a while, but he still continues to contribute to the activities of KESK.

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