(21 April 2017) The preliminary results of the referendum showed that 51,2% of Turkish people had voted yes to the changes to the constitution to allow for a Presidential system with less control of the parliament 16 April 2017. Almost half of people voted no. They think that these changes would give the President too much uncontrolled power. Several organisations including the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly have argued that the organisations that were campaigning were not treated fairly. Several observers to the elections and including from the OSCE and the European Union argued there were irregularities. It is not appropriate to call the monitors supporters of terrorists as has been done by government spokespersons. Reports of fraud have been filed as apparently over a million voting papers did not have official stamps on them. Turkish organisations and including unions are questioning the legitimacy of the result. The government forces have arrested peaceful protesters who drew attention to the assumed fraud accusing them of propaganda against the yes vote.
The ETUC expresses its concerns about the extension of the state of emergency again by 90 days. Over 130.000 workers have been dismissed or suspended from their jobs without trial or appeal, ten thousands have been detained in investigations: and thousands have been jailed and lost their freedom. This includes many journalists. Hundreds of media have been closed. ETUC asks for the end of this state of emergency, return to the rule of law, respect for International and European Charters and Conventions.
It is deeply concerning that the Turkish President is making proposals for the death penalty. We are opposed to the death penalty. As unions this is incompatible with the universal and European principles of human rights.
European and Global trade unions have set up a fund to support Turkish affiliates in their ongoing battle to defend their members in court.