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Trade unionists killed and arrested in Turkey

January 21, 2016
Sanitation worker Mehmet Kaplan, father of three children and member of PSI affiliate DİSK/Genel-İş Union in Cizre Municipality (Şırnak), was shot dead on 17 January in front of his house while another worker was seriously injured and a further three arrested in separate incidents.

Once again trade unionists are victims of violence against dissenting voices in Turkey.
Mr. Ramazan Uysal, also a member of DISK/Genel- İş was shot and lost his arm on 14 December 2015 while he was working at water valves for the Cizre Municipality.

In addition, PSI was informed of the arrest and detention of three members of DISK/Genel-İş for their trade union activities: Mr. Mazlum Özmen, union representative and a municipal police officer, Mr. Mesut Ayık, driver and Mr. Nedim Oruç, press officer.

These are only the latest in a series of violations of trade union and human rights that have been taking place in Turkey over the last few years, tarnishing the image and name of a democratic republic.

PSI strongly condemns the murder and persecution of the members of its affiliated union and has written to the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu calling on the government to:

  • conduct an exhaustive, genuine and rapid investigation to identify the perpetrators of the murder of Mr Kaplan - and any others that might be involved - and bring them to justice;
  • conduct a full investigation to clarify the shooting of Mr Uysal;
  • immediately release the imprisoned Genel-Is members and cease the systematic attacks on trade union members.

PSI has reminded the Turkish government that repression and detention of workers for their trade union activities is a breach of Turkey’s obligations under ILO Convention No. 87 and other human rights instruments, PSI further calls on the Turkish authorities to guarantee the effective protection of workers and trade unionists’ lives.

PSI stands in solidarity with DISK/Genel-İş members and calls on all its affiliates to support the protests in Istanbul’s Taksim square and throughout Turkey by sending a letter of protest to the Turkish Prime Minister.

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