KESK delegation visits EPSU office – Hand in Hand for Freedom Campaign

(7 March 2013) With almost 100 colleagues in jail, trade unionists of the public sector trade union confederation KESK are amongst the most prosecuted and harassed trade union colleagues in Europe. Many of these union colleagues are still awaiting their first hearing in Court. 22 colleagues jailed on 25 June 2012 out of over 70 arrested on that day have yet to see their first judge. There is no indictment even after 8 months. A delegation of KESK spoke with EPSU Deputy General Secretary to update on the situation and prepare for what will be the first hearing of their case on 10 April in Ankara. An international delegation will participate and observe the trial to ensure no unfair treatment takes place. Workers will hold a demonstration outside the Court.

We also looked at the situation of the people arrested on 19 February 2013. Over 167 were arrested. 63 remain in jail, of which 60 are KESK members and 1 is a member of DISK, another trade union confederation. That the government is harassing the union is evident. The Turkish government is using anti-terrorist law so it has a lot of leeway and can keep the union colleagues in jail.

EPSU will ask affiliated unions to send observers to the trial.

The delegation that visited the EPSU office were KESK General Secretary and International Secretary and the teachers union Secretary for financial affairs. They attended the ETUC Executive Committee 5-6 March 2013, Brussels.

- For the EPSU reaction after the arrests 19 February 2013 (press release and letter to the government).
- For a list of the names of the people arrested 19 February 2013 . Most arrested belong to the teachers union but also EPSU Affiliates SES (health) BES (Government employees) and YapiYol Sen are among the arrested.

- For the Hand in Hand for Freedom statement of the international delegation

- For a brochure of the teachers union with our colleagues of the Education International. It gives a background and clarifies several cases. The teachers union, being the largest union of KESK, is particularly targeted…

- For our article on December 2012 hearing

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