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RIGHTS > 22 union members arrested in KCK probe

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

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Sixteen members of Public Sector Trade Unions including Lami Özgen, the group’s head have been brought to Ankara court to testify, while 22 have been arrested.

Sixteen members of Public Sector Trade Unions including Lami Özgen, the group’s head have been brought to Ankara court to testify, while 22 have been arrested.

The arrest of 22 members of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK) were ordered by a court Thursday while another 16 members, including Lami Özgen, the group’s head, were still testifying before the prosecutor on charges of membership in the Kurdistan Communities’ Union (KCK). 

The arrests came after a broad police operation against KESK offices throughout the entire country, sparking reaction from non-governmental organizations and the political parties. Protests by KESK members against the detentions continued yesterday with hundreds of trade unionists rallied in front of the courthouse where the testimonies were being heard. 

KESK is a major public workers union confederation in Turkey that draws membership from all of Turkey’s communities.

The KCK is the alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Nearly 8,000 people have been detained as part of the KCK operations, causing tension between the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the government. Many of BDP’s local officials and mayors are among the detainees.

The PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union. 

June/29/2012

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