EPSU supports President Turkish confederation DISK in defence of free speech – drop the charges

trial of Arzu Çerkezoğlu, President of DISK 14 November 2019, TURKEY

EPSU’s senior vice-president Francoise Geng with the European delegation including representatives of UNITE and Unison (UK) as well as ITUC and leading unionists from Turkey

(15 November 2019) The second public hearing in the trial of Arzu Çerkezoğlu, President of DISK took place on 14 November in Sapanca, near Istanbul. She faces three years imprisonment for 'provoking people to be rancorous and hostile' just for having taken part in a public panel debate. EPSU supports her and wants the charges dropped.

EPSU’s senior vice-president Francoise Geng joined an European delegation observing the trial that also included representatives of UNITE and Unison as well as ITUC and many leading trade unionists from Turkey. Our comrade Arzu is a medical doctor and President of PSI/EPSU affiliate Dev Sağlık-İş (Progressive Union of Health Workers). She is defending her right to freedom of expression, the important role of trade unions and the need to continue to criticize the Government where necessary. The union is demanding that the charges are dropped but the judge continues and a further public hearing is foreseen for 9 March 2020.  

EPSU calls for all the charges against trade unionists and other human rights activists to be dropped. The Turkish Government should take clear steps towards strengthening - and not weakening -  human rights, social and economic justice, good governance and the rule of law.

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