WHO was arrested?
Nearly 70 people including many members of KESK’s trade union’s executive boards were decided to be arrested by the court and 54 of them have been arrested until now according to the recent information.
54 people who are members of the trade unions that are affiliates of KESK (Confederation of Public Employees Trade Unions) have been arrested by the police who raided their houses early in the morning, at about 5 am.
Most of the arrested people were executive board members and Trade Unions’ Branch Offices’ board members:
• KESK President Lami Ozgen
• Egitim Sen (Education and Science Workers Union) General Secretary Mehmet Bozgeyik
• Egitim Sen Women’s Secretary Sakine Esen Yilmaz
• Egitim Sen Secretary of Financial Affairs Abdullah Karahan
• General Secretary of SES (Health and Social Services Union) Mehmet Siddik Akin, General Secretary of Tüm Bel Sen (All Municipality and Local Administrations Workers Union) İzzet Alpergin
• President of Tarım Orkam Sen (Agriculture, Forest, livestock Service Workers Union) Metin Vuranok
• President of Diyanet and Foundation Workers Union Cengiz Payci
were the members of the executive boards.
HOW were they arrested?
After early police raids to their houses they are taken into custody. The operation covered 21 cities. The claim was the same… Assistance or membership to a terrorist organization… Like all opponents of the existing government… Like students, like journalists, like academics… Just like thousands of people being kept in prisons without any concrete evidence waiting sometimes a year to be able to defend themselves infront of the court. All of the arrested members are Kurdish.
KESK and EGİTİM SEN head offices in Ankara were searched by the police. Other than searching the detainees’ offices, police also tried to take the documents like official minute book of the union. Other board members resisted and they could not succeed in seizing these documents.
What did the trade union and confederation do in last 6 months that would be a source of concern for the government? Here are some examples:
• They uncovered the neoliberal and ideological aims of the government victimizing education.
• Organized 2 day strike on 28th-29th March against the new education act that would increase child labour usage, that would have dangerous pedgaogical outcomes for students, that includes no efford to solve the child brides problem in Turkey. Our campaign has attracted great public attention and support.
• Organized a united strike with other public workers confederations against the very low pay rise and against the collective barganing process which doesn’t respect international labor standards and basic ILO norms.
• KESK Women Unit was very active in struggling the governments projects against women rights like restricting aboration.
• Defended and always reminded the arrested women members who have been in prison since April.
• Uncovered the Ministry of Education scandals like te one in Milk Distribution in Schools.
• Egitim Sen and KESK are centers of labour struggle in which all employees from all identities and regions can unite and struggle together both for peace in the country and for labour rights.
3 of 7 members of Egitim Sen are now arrested. Women’s secretary of KESK have been arrested since April. President of KESK is now arrested. 2 of 7 members of executive boards of KESK and SES are absent now. KESK’s collective bargaining expert have been arrested since January.
Their aim is obvious: to put KESK and its affiliate unions out of action!
To make them loose their legitimacy!
To avert trade union’s national and internation activities!
They can find no way but to slander …
Even though nearly 40 members and board members of KESK still have been arrested for a long time,
Egitim Sen and KESK is going to keep on defending public workers’ and education workers’ rights and peace and brotherhood/sisterhood of the people in Turkey.
We will never give up fighting for equal, free, quality, scientific, mothertongue education for all!