Turkish government urged to release trade unionists

Turkish government urged to release trade unionists

05 June 2013

Unite, the UK’s largest union, has called for the immediate release of trade unionists and other activists detained by the Turkish government as part of its crackdown on dissent.

Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “The modern Turkish state has not got a good record in regards to trade unions and respecting workers’ rights.

“The world is watching on with horror at this sight of the Turkish government's actions against the people of that country. That is why Unite, on behalf our members here in the UK and Ireland, expresses strong solidarity with the Turkish trade unions which have launched a general strike in response to the government’s heavy-handed actions in cracking down on legitimate protest.

“Unite is in full agreement with The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) which has called for union members to support the public and union members in Turkey.

“Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan should order the immediate release of the trade unionists, journalists and other activists the government is holding in detention.

“The way forward must be a constructive dialogue between the government and opposition groups, including the trade unions; with the aim of building a society which respects workers’ rights, addresses economic and social injustices, and strengthens civic society. Unite calls for such a dialogue to begin in earnest immediately.”

The Turkish Human Rights Association is reported as saying that more than 2,800 protesters had been injured across Turkey and that 791 had been detained, of whom ‘around 500’ have since been released.


For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.