CUPE joins with Public Services International (PSI) in strongly condemning the bomb attacks which killed at least 69 people and wounded 250 peaceful demonstrators at a peace rally in Ankara, Turkey.
CUPE is a proud and active member of PSI, which represents more than 20 million workers around the world, represent by 650 unions in 148 countries and territories. Among the demonstrators were members of the DISK and KESK union confederations, who are also PSI affiliates.
“There was a massacre in the middle of Ankara,” said Lami Ozgen, head of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions, or KESK. “Two bombs exploded in very short intervals. Police is obstructing access of ambulances to the wounded.”
The explosions occurred minutes apart near Ankara’s train station as over 100 000 people gathered for the rally organized by the country’s public sector workers’ trade union. It was not clear if the attacks were suicide bombings. The attack comes weeks before Turkey’s Nov. 1 elections.
Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary says,
“We call on the Turkish government to provide immediate assistance to the victims of the bomb attacks in Ankara, and to stop all attacks on the Kurdish population. Yesterday the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, including trade union UGTT. This is the example that the Turkish government should take seriously. Open to dialogue with trade unions and democratic organizations to stop the spiral of violence and discrimination that is poisoning the country”.
Pavanelli continues, “This is the message that the union delegations attending the upcoming events of GFMD and L20 should bring to Turkey, calling on the Turkish government to respect unions and protect minorities.”
PSI extends its solidarity and sincere condolences to the victims and their families.