EPSU sends letter of protest to Turkish president over detention of trade unionist
(29 June 2010) EPSU and its sister organisation, PSI, have once again had to intervene on behalf of Meryem Özsögüt from the Turkish health union SES. Both organisations have written letters of protest to the Turkish president to complain about her arrest and the sentencing and detention of other public service trade unionists.
Meryem made the closing speech at last year’s EPSU congress, where she gave a harrowing account of the arrest and torture that she had been subjected at the hands of the Turkish authorities. In 2008 she had organized a press conference to denounce executions carried out by the authorities. She was summarily arrested at gunpoint and detained without trial.
The letter expresses our deep concern about reports of Meryem’s poor health, resulting from her earlier imprisonment, and the potential impact of her further incarceration. We see no reason why she should remain in prison whilst awaiting her trial given that no evidence of a crime has been presented, nor is there any evidence that she poses a threat to society.
EPSU and PSI were part of the international solidarity campaign that helped secure her release on that occasion. Both organisations believe that this latest arrest of Ms Özsöğüt is the result of a deliberate policy to use judicial means to harass and intimidate trade unionists, particularly those unionists who belong to the largely Kurdish confederation, KESK.