DİSK in Turkey and KTR in Russia launch joint statement calling for solidarity and condemning war.
In the wake of the shooting down of a Russian jet by Turkey, allegedly over Turkish airspace, tensions between the two countries have reached an all time high. Russia has imposed sanctions on Turkey, and there are fears of further escalation.
The two countries are supporting opposite sides in the Syrian civil war, with Russia supporting President Assad, and launching attacks on Turkish-backed rebels.
Workers from Russia and Turkey have reacted to the escalation by affirming that they are not enemies, and that the labour movement has always been a staunch advocate of peace against war.
Boris Kravchenko, the president of the Confederation of Labour of Russia (KTR), and Kani Beko, the president of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey, have issued a joint statement calling for solidarity against war.
The statement reads:
“We are concerned about the recent developments in Syria and its effects on the international arena. Accordingly, the relation between Turkey and Russia entered into an alarming and dangerous process.
Therefore, we the trade unions from Russia and Turkey are compelled to make a joint statement.
We would like to remind on behalf of the workers from Russia and Turkey that the international problems should be resolved by peaceful methods but not by war, violence, or economic sanctions.
We, the workers from Russia and Turkey, support joint struggle against terrorists and similar organizations that are enemies of humanity in the social sphere, but not confrontation of our peoples. This is not only a responsibility for humanity but also a requirement of international law.
Politicians of the both countries should rigorously refrain from implementing policies that suggest the Cold War period and, on the contrary, reinforce neighbourhood relations.
It is well established that deterioration of political, economic, and social relations between the two countries and emergence of a war threat would first affect the workers’ families. The tension would bring nothing but poverty and death.
For centuries labour movement has defended and is a staunch advocate of peace and fraternity against war.
We respectfully announce the same to the people of Russia and Turkey, and the international public opinion.”
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