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On 19 February, Turkish police arrested 151 trade union representatives and trade union members. The police have accused the trade unionists of links with terrorist organisations. Most of the arrested persons are members of KESK, the Confederation of Public Employees, and its affiliated unions. These arrests follow the detention of 15 female trade unionists on 15 February 2012 and over 67 members of KESK on 25 June 2012. Many of them are still in jail without facing clear charges and without proper trial.
The European Commission, European governments, international human rights organisations and others have expressed their deep concern about the situation.
Public Services International, the European Federation of Public Services Unions, the International Trade Union Confederation and Education International are launching a major new campaign demanding the immediate and unconditional release of all the arrested union members. We also demand that the Turkish state stop harassing and labelling trade unionists as terrorists.
Please share this campaign with your members and contacts. With your help, we are hoping to obtain 20,000 signatures to send an unprecedented strong message to the Turkish government.
Please find below the letter sent by EPSU to the Turkish authorities.
Thank you for your solidarity.