2014 in Turkey unfortunately begins with two new episodes of the ongoing governmental persecution and judicial harassment against trade unionists. In the last several years, hundreds of members and leaders of the KESK-affiliated trade unions have been …

USi Live Turkey,

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2014 in Turkey unfortunately begins with two new episodes of the ongoing governmental persecution and judicial harassment against trade unionists. In the last several years, hundreds of members and leaders of the KESK-affiliated trade unions have been arrested, detained, prosecuted and tried on several grounds for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and to peacefully demonstrate.

The international trade union movement has strongly condemned 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.

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.

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 47 of them were kept in prisons pending trials including 27 in Istanbul.

Both hearings will be attended by an international trade union delegation, including the ITUC and the ETUC, to show solidarity with Turkish trade unionists.

Act now and tell Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stop judicial harassment against trade unionists.


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