Social Dialogue matters
Today, 19 February 2013, a total of 167 arrest warrants were issued for KESK members under the allegation of being member of the extreme left DHKP/C movement. Recently the DHKP/C claimed the responsibility for a bombing in front of the US embassy in Ankara. In this context, the police raided the KESK offices and arrested the KESK secretary for organization Akman Şimşek. According to Bianet the police also arrested doctors, mothers and babies of about 3 months old.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Sezgin Tanrıkulu reacted by stating that detentions of KESK members is part of a systematic plan to discredit KESK. Indeed, in the recent years KESK members were frequenlty arrested (link) and in the wikileaks documents indications were found that the government especially focuses on intimidation of the KESK union (link).
The private sector union DISK reacted stating that the AKP government is filling the prisons with political opponents and therefore calls for a change in the constitution. The leftist-kurdish BDP party called for a general democratization of the Turkish society in order to solve the Kurdish question. EMEP noted that before, KESK officials were arrested due to so-called links to the KCK, while now they’re arrested for being members of the DHKP/C. According to them, the only reason for these arrests is to break the Turkish union dynamism in the public sector (source Bianet).
The International Trade Union Conferderation (ITUC) general secretary Sharan Burrow also reacted stating the following: “We can no longer accept that trade unionists are arrested, detained and jailed under false accusations of terrorism. The Turkish authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all arrested trade union members and stop labelling them as terrorists. In a true democracy, trade unionists have the right to play their legitimate role without having to fear being arrested” (source)Publication date: 19 February 2013