Joint Statement of ETUC, ITUC, TURK-IS, HAK-IS, DISK, KESK following the visit of ETUC and ITUC to Ankara on 12-13 October 2016

A joint ITUC and ETUC delegation visited Ankara on 12 and 13 October 2016.

Representing the International and European trade union movement, our aim was to stand in solidarity with the people of Turkey and the Turkish trade unions after the failed coup, and also to discuss recent evolutions in the situation of trade union members in Turkey with the four affiliate organisations [Turk-is, Hak-is, Disk and Kesk].

The delegation was particularly concerned at the massive wave of dismissals of workers, particularly public employees, by the Turkish government, in most cases without any basis of proof or evidence, or compliance with the rule of law.

All organisations attending the meeting condemned the coup attempt as an attack on democracy, and stated that any terrorist attacks or unconstitutional efforts to seize power and overthrow democracy must be opposed, but this must not lead either to constitutional changes that limit democratic rights, or to the destruction of the livelihoods of thousands of workers.

In meetings with representatives of the EU delegation and the ILO office, the joint delegation reiterated its unconditional support for the democratic values and trade union freedoms set out in ILO Conventions and international and European charters, as well as for full respect of the rule of law.

Europe, Turkey and the international community must increase their efforts to promote the spread of peace, democracy, economic development, equality and decent jobs.

Specific attention must be devoted to respect for and full enforcement of trade union rights in Turkey, including freedom of association, the right to strike and collective bargaining.

The ITUC, ETUC and their members stand together for these values, and will work with all others to defend and promote these fundamental principles.