International solidarity is once again needed - PSI and EPSU are asking for action in the week of 23-29 September. Trade union rights are under attack in Türkiye. The leaders and members of SES, the Health and Social Service Workers Union of Türkiye, have been on trial for more than two years.
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In May 2021, police organised a dawn raid against SES Union. Then, a heavy penal court arrested our trade union colleagues, including current and former co-presidents Ms. Selma Atabey and Ms. Gonul Erden, respectively. The official accusation was terrorism, but the real reason behind this persecution was their trade union activities.
Gonul Erden, the former chair, was sent to prison on 21 September 2021. She was released in the hearing, attended by Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU General Secretary, on 13 March 2023.
Selma Atabey (the chair of the union at that time, now the woman secretary) was arrested on 5 July 2022, and was released after a hearing almost one year later, on 6 June 2023. Marcelo Netto, PSI Head of Comms, and Françoise Geng, EPSU Vice-President, were there to welcome her in front of the prison.
Along with PSI and EPSU executives, an international delegation of trade unionists of many PSI and EPSU affiliates were present at the hearings. Once again, we saw that international solidarity bears fruit.
Although no trade unionist remains in prison, some of our colleagues are still under house arrest. The charges are also still standing. SES members and executives are under constant threat of arrest.
The next hearing will be held on 2 October 2023. So PSI and EPSU are asking for action in the week of 23-29 September, and follow SES’s Twitter account on the hearing day for the updates
Let’s raise our voices together and say, “Trade unionism is not a crime" in solidarity with SES. What to do:
print this banner
gather a group of your colleagues
take a picture with the banner
share it on your social media tagging:
The Ministry of Justice of Turkey: @adalet_bakanlik
Minister of Justice: @yilmaztunc
Using the hashtag: