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TUC writes to Turkish Ambassador regarding arrests and intimidation of trade unionists in Turkey

H.E. Mr Ümit Yalçın

Embassy of the Republic of Turkey

43 Belgrave Square



28 November 2018

Dear Ambassador

Stop the arrests and intimidations of trade unionists in Turkey

I write on behalf of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) representing over 5.5 million workers in the UK to denounce the ongoing arrests of trade unionists across Turkey.

On Monday 26 November, 10 trade unionists – members of the Executive Committee of KESK- were arrested in several cities across Turkey along with journalists and politicians from the HDP opposition party.

The arrests were made in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Diyarbakir and Bursa and relate to the organisation of and participation in a demonstration in 2016. Thankfully the trade unionists were released on 28 November, but the after effects of the intimidation and harassment experienced by the trade unionists and their families will remain for some time.

The TUC and the international trade union movement calls on your government to stop the intimidation of trade unionists and activists engaged in politics, as it is contrary to human rights and democratic principles.

The TUC will stand alongside the European Trade Union Confederation, who will protest to Turkish authorities, to the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, and to EU and international bodies to call on your government to uphold ILO Convention 87, Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise and Convention 98, Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining, that your government has ratified.

The international trade union movement will continue to protest such actions until it is possible for a trade unionist to go about lawful and peaceful activities in Turkey without fear of interference by the authorities.

Yours sincerely


General Secretary

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