Massacre in Turkey, anti-terrorist trade union solidarity

This video from Turkey says about itself:

ODTÜ on strike for the victims of Ankara massacre

12 October 2015

Anti-government rallies continue in Turkey after the terrible bomb attacks on the Ankara peace rally on 10.10.2015, which left at least 128 killed and hundreds wounded. Labor unions and trade chambers declared a two-day nationwide strike to protest the AKP government, whom they find guilty of the massacre. Personnel and students of the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) supported the strike decision with a massive boycott and strike in the campus. All the services in the university library and cafeterias were stopped, and there were no classes in many departments.

Opposition to the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to mount in Turkey, following the suicide bombings that claimed close to 130 lives at a peace rally Saturday: here.

By Zoe Streatfield in Britain:

Britain’s trade unions rally to condemn Turkey attacks

Tuesday 13th October 2015

BRITAIN’S trade unions united yesterday to condemn the bombing of a left-wing rally in Turkey at the weekend.

Trade union liaison officer for peace in Kurdistan and Unison Scotland deputy convener Stephen Smellie criticised the Turkish government for claiming to fight terrorism yet carrying out attacks on PKK bases in Iraq while it is fighting against Isis.

Mr Smellie said that “many people in Turkey believe that the state was behind the attacks” citing that no police officers were injured or killed despite the scale of the bomb blasts.

He said that state violence had not been restricted to attacks on Kurdish organisations but that “trade union and left activists have also been targeted.”

GMB international officer Bert Schouwenburg said his union was “outraged” by the attack and called on the Turkish government to end hostilities against the PKK and the Kurdish population.

Mr Schouwenburg called for a negotiated settlement to end the conflict, adding that “there can be no lasting peace without the full involvement and participation of the Kurdish community and we reiterate our call for the release of their leader Abdullah Ocalan so that he can play a full part in that process.”

He said the Turkish authorities should do all they can to bring the perpetrators of the atrocity to justice and ensure citizens were protected when they exercise their right to peaceful protest.

PCS also condemned the violence against peaceful demonstrators and extended “heartfelt condolences to the people of Turkey” and in particular the victims of the blasts.

The death toll is currently 128, with many hundreds wounded.

By James Tweedie:

Turkey: General strike in protest at Ankara blast

Tuesday 13th October 2015

Street demos demand answers from Erdogan

TURKISH trade unions called a two-day general strike yesterday in protest at Saturday’s Ankara peace-march bombing.

Thousands demonstrated in the capital, blaming the government for the massacre, as funerals were held for many victims.

The strike by the four unions that organised Saturday’s protest will end today.

“To protest against the fascist massacre and to commemorate the death of our friends, we are now in mourning for three days,” the unions said in a joint statement.

The group comprises the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DiSK), the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) and the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB).

The pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), a major participant in the demonstration, supported the strike.

“We should unrelentingly show every day and in every place to those who tried to silence the people who gathered in Ankara for peace, that the voice of life and peace will not keep quiet,” it said in a statement.

While the official death toll from the double bombing had risen to 97 by yesterday, the HDP put the true figure at 128.

The Peace and Development Party (AKP) government has claimed that the attacks were carried out by two suicide bombers, possibly from Islamic State (Isis).

But in an open letter to the international community, HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag blamed the AKP for the massacre.

They said: “The AKP’s policy of relying on radical groups as proxies, which began with President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan’s support of such groups as Isis, al-Nusra, and Ahrar al-Sham is at the heart of today’s tragedy.”

They also accused Mr Erdogan of reigniting the conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to win votes in coming elections.

The Turkish air force bombed PKK positions in Iraq hours after the Ankara attack despite the group honouring its offer of a ceasefire.

6 thoughts on “Massacre in Turkey, anti-terrorist trade union solidarity

  1. Pingback: Turkish anti-terrorism anti-government demonstrations continue | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Turkish anti-terror protests and governmental repression | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Solidarity demonstration with Turkish terrorism victims in the Netherlands | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Tuesday 3rd November 2015

    posted by Morning Star in World

    TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged other countries yesterday to respect the result of a snap election won by his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    His comments came as the Council of Europe said pre-ballot violence and security clampdowns had tainted the voting process.

    The ruling AKP regained its parliamentary majority five months after losing it in the previous election.

    With all ballots counted, the party was projected to win 317 seats in the 550-member parliament with 49 per cent of the vote. Turnout on Sunday was high at 85 per cent.

    The June election saw the People’s Democratic Party (HDP), formed in 2012 to provide representation for the left and the Kurdish minority, exceed the 10 per cent threshold for seats in parliament.

    But Sunday’s poll saw the HDP just scraping in, winning 59 seats compared to 80 in June.
    A deadly police crackdown in Kurdish areas, ostensibly targeting the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), attacks on

    HDP members and party offices and the silencing of pro-opposition media all restricted the opposition’s ability to campaign.

    Council of Europe delegation leader Andreas Gross said: “Unfortunately, we came to the conclusion that this campaign was unfair and was characterised by too much violence and by too much fear.”

    An October 10 suicide bomb attack on a peace rally in the capital Ankara “significantly affected the atmosphere and conduct of the campaign,” the council said.

    Nevertheless, the European Union’s chief diplomat Federica Mogherini and EU commissioner Johannes Hahn said the bloc would work towards closer ties with Turkey, which aspires to membership.


  5. Certainly the world has to accept that his religious-conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) has swept back into power.

    But there can be no respect for the combination of authoritarianism, scaremongering and military posturing that made AKP victory possible.

    The poll triumph belongs officially to Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, but his campaign was devised and carried through by the president who is intent on concentrating further personal powers in an executive presidency.

    Erdogan’s ambitions were jolted in June when AKP lost its overall majority, partly because of a major advance by the left-wing and pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), crashing through the 10 per cent limit for parliamentary representation with 13 per cent and 79 seats.

    Erdogan’s response was as ruthless as it was calculating, manipulating voters’ emotions by stepping up military action against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and smearing political opponents as terrorists or traitors.

    The president’s militaristic and nationalist onslaught helped reduce the HDP share of the vote to just over 10 per cent and also captured a proportion of the electorate that normally backs the far-right MHP.

    His verbal attacks targeted opposition parties and also media outlets that he regarded as untrustworthy.

    Mobs attacked newspaper offices, closing titles down and preventing any effective alternative to the pro-AKP narrative recited daily by the state broadcaster TRT.

    Erdogan profited too from a number of murderous bomb explosions that the security forces attributed to Islamic State (Isis) attempts to destabilise his government.

    However, why Isis would wish to do that given Ankara’s ongoing assistance to the jihadists, in terms of a porous Turkish-Syrian border allowing cross-border traffic of Isis fighters, military supplies and looted Syrian oil, is unclear.

    In any case, the targets for the “Isis” bombings were HDP election gatherings, killing or wounding hundreds of young activists, preventing the party from holding further rallies or conducting a normal electoral campaign.

    The role of security forces in tear-gassing mourners laying bouquets of flowers to honour those massacred in Ankara speaks volumes for presidential attitudes.

    Erdogan commented cynically that the election result shows that “people have opted for stability and trust that were endangered in the June 7 vote.”

    In reality, instability and distrust are more firmly embedded in Turkish political life.

    There will be little said and done in European Union capitals about the shady methods employed by the Turkish president to secure victory.

    EU leaders are more interested in persuading Erdogan to co-operate with them to prevent refugees accessing their bloc from Turkey.

    But labour movement and human rights campaigners will keep a watchful eye on developments in Turkey and its president’s cynical manipulation of national fears and regional turmoil.


  6. Pingback: Demonstration for peace in Turkey, Amsterdam, tomorrow | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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