Social Dialogue matters
The leftist union of public employees, KESK, protested in the weekend against the educational reform which was under vote in the parliament. The reform plans to increase the compulsory education to 12 years (previously 8 years) and want to install a 4+4+4 system. This means that after first four years of compulsory education, school children will be offered the opportunity to choose between different school types, including vocational education schools.
The KESK labour union nevertheless points to the fact that schoolchildren will be able to choose for religiously inspired ‘Imam Hatip’ schools at a younger age than is currently possible. They link this reform to the quotes of current AKP prime minister Erdogan, saying that he will raise a ‘pious generation’.
In several Turkish cities KESK therefore organized protests. In several cities, police used water canons and gas bombs against the protestors, while in other cities the protests ended peacefully with music and speeches.
KESK is known for its militant strategies and frequently organizes demonstrations and actions which frequently go beyond the mere defence of the workers rights and interests. Due to their activism on subjects related to the Kurdish question, KESK regularly faces intimidation actions from the policy and the judiciary. In the context of the ‘KCK trials’, KESK members and officials are frequently arrested due to suspicions about links with PKK or KCK.
Further reading and references:
Today’s Zaman, 30 march 2012: ‘Spain and Turkey’: link
Today’s Zaman, 30 march 2012: ‘Parliament approves controversial education reform bill’: link
Bianet, 29 march 2012: ‘KESK Eylemi Her Yerde’: link
Date: April 3 2012