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Trade union movement rejects Turkey as a venue for the ILO European Regional Meeting

18 August 2017
Many trade unions have already clearly stated that they will not participate in the ILO European Regional Meeting in Istanbul in 2-5 October this year due to the worsening situation regarding freedom of speech and violation of fundamental labour and human rights in Turkey.

ITUC, and more recently EPSU, are calling on affiliates to lobby their governments, requesting them to also not participate in this meeting as a protest against the Government’s actions in Turkey. ITUC also reached out to IOE, but the attempts to bring the employers in to join the protest have been unsuccessful so far.

If the ILO European Regional Meeting were to take place in Istanbul, as planned, Turkish trade unionists would not be able to speak freely, fearing for reprisals once the meeting is over.

Indeed, since the failed coup of 15 July 2016, the State of Emergency in Turkey has been extended for the fifth time, the most recent extension was made on 17 July 2017 and will last for three months. In more than one year, 25 decrees have been taken by the Government, the latest being Decree 692 which led to the dismissal of 7,563 persons including 302 academics.

PSI fully supports the boycott of the meeting and calls on the ILO to postpone it or change the venue, as a clear sign of solidarity with Turkish trade unionsts.


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