Trade Unionists all over the world will have been shocked at the carnage caused by suicide bombers at a recent peace rally in Ankara on 10th October. This rally was called by Trade Unions anxious to end the hostilities between the Turkish state and the Kurdish people. Over 100 people were killed and over 200 injured.
In a welcome initiative Brighton UCU sent the following message
Colleagues, comrades and friends,
Please accept our condolences on your losses, and our dismay that this could happen to a peaceful demonstration in the capital city of modern Turkey. Over 100 of your people are dead, and scores are wounded. We stand in solidarity with you at this time, and in support of peace and justice.
We note that your rally was called by trade unions, was unarmed and peaceful, and sought an end of hostilities between the Turkish state and the Kurdish people. We further note that the detonations were located close to where the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) was assembling. We conclude that this atrocity was designed, therefore, to undermine the unprecedented unity, achieved by the HDP in the recent election campaign, of sections of Turkish left-leaning opinion with the Kurdish liberation movement.
We are further disturbed by reports in the UK of police attacks mounted on the surviving demonstrators after the blasts. If substantiated, these allegations constitute a profound failure of Turkish democracy. A modern state loses all legitimacy when if fails to protect all of its people, equally, or if it fails to implement policy and defend constitutional rights without prejudice based on national identity or political opinion.
- We express solidarity with the families of members of the HDP, and others, who have been killed or maimed;
- We declare our support for the two-day strikes that have been called by the trade unions in Turkey to protest against this atrocity, and against the failure to protect the demonstration; and
- We demand that the UK Government and the EU seekimmediate assurances from the Turkish Government that the full details of the investigation into responsibility for the atrocity will be made public, including all evidence that is collected, and
immediate assurance from the Turkish Government that the right to campaign and to protest of those who support the call for Kurdish national liberation be guaranteed and defended by the Turkish state.
It would be good if other branches could follow this lead and similarly write to the organisations below:
KESK (Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions),
Lemi Özgen, Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
DISK (Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions),
Kani Beko, Chair, email@example.com
TMMOB (Association of Architects’ and Engineers’ Chambers),
Mehmet Soganci, Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
TTB (Turkish Medical Association),
Dr. Bayazit Ilhan, Chair, email@example.com
HDP (Peoples Democratic Party),
Alp Altinors, Assistant to Chair, firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s also an international petition by academics calling for international solidarity that can be signed and circulated. You can find it here