Statement released by Turkish union teachers’ union Eğitim-Sen after police raids: “We have acted in solidarity with the refugees from Syria, particularly the children, visiting refugee camps and educational activities. We see this as part of our responsibility as human beings and educators.”

Women at a Egitim Sen rally in solidarity with Rojava. Photo by Egitim Sen Diyarbakir

Women at a Egitim Sen rally in solidarity with Rojava. Photo by Egitim Sen Diyarbakir

After an ISIS bomb killed 30 left wing activists at Suruç, the Turkish government has vowed to crack down on “terror” – but most of those arrested have not been ISIS supporters. They have been Kurds, Leftists and trade unionists, including members of the teachers’ union Eğitim-Sen, who released this statement:

We Will Not Obey Your Lies. We Will Stand Against Your Attacks!

Eleven of the twelve people arrested at our offices on Saturday have been released by order of the courts, proving that the arrests were unlawful.

They were part of a campaign by media and government to discredit our union. Eğitim-Sen was accused of hosting people without identity cards at our hostel in Ankara. In fact all the people who were taken from the hostel were receiving hospital treatment, after they were injured at the Suruç massacre, and had received identity cards from the Government Agency for Disaster and Emergency Management. The police also arrested Ms. Rona Temelli who is a member of Ankara Branch of the Health Workers’ Trade Union (SES-affilitate of KESK) from her home. She has also been released.

The truth can never be hidden. After the massacre in Suruç, the government’s main aim is to fuel war policies in the country. Egitim Sen on the other hand has acted in solidarity with the refugees from Syria, particularly the children, visiting refugee camps and educational activities. We see this as part of our responsibility as human beings and educators.

We believe that every human being should support each other during these terrible times. We never have been afraid of the dreadful attacks of ISIS and imperialist powers in the Middle East against Kurdish, Turkish, Alawite, Armenian and other people. We are always in favour of democracy and peace. Our actions and policies are well known by the society.

We would like to underline the fact that our General Office and Guest House are always open to all oppressed people regardless of language, religion, sex or ethnic group. If the state is interested in stopping illegal activities, it should not be raiding Egitim Sen, but rather it should deal with ISIS terrorism, policy-makers fueling war and conflicts and Turkey’s intelligence service which it is claimed is transporting weapons to ISIS gangs.

A Message to Fighters of Democracy and Labour Rights has been Given by the Police Operation!

The only aim of the police operation and the slanders in the media against us, is to damage our reputation and fuel the war atmosphere in Turkey, which has been created after the dreadful attack by ISIS in Suruç, last week. They want all democratic and labor organizations to be silent in the face of their warmongering, which is targeted at new elections, where they hope to regain the power, which they lost during the general election on 7 June.

As everybody knows, we are involved in collective bargaining in the public sector.  Just as they did two years ago, they want to criminalize Eğitim Sen to destroy our united and organized fight for our basic rights. They fear us because we are the only force which resists the authoritarian and religious turn which the government is promoting in education. Their 4+4+4 education system and increased emphaisis on religion in all levels of education reflects ISIS ideology. Together they want to found a new regime based on religious practices.

With Saturday’s police raids, the AKP government is declaring to everyone in society that oppressive policies targeted at democratic forces will be stepped up in the near future. Dictatorships can only rule by oppressing democratic forces, as the raid on Eğitim-Sen proves.

Our Trade Union will be a Voice of Labour against Exploitation, Peace against War and Democracy against Dictatorships!

The AKP government wants to heighten political tensions and conflicts in the run up to general elections. Their strategy is to move the country towards bloody civil conflict. As trade unionists and democracy movements, we are carrying a big responsibility on our shoulders. We do not want anyone to be in a war or in conflict.

We are aware of our role and mission in society. We continue to share all facts with people. If you want to understand our struggle and our effect, you should look into the eyes of our members. Then you will see our truth!

 


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Teacher Solidarity

Teacher Solidarity is an independent website which records the resistance to education "reform" of teachers, their unions, communities and researchers, who are fighting to defend public and democratic education.

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