Military’s civil servants allowed to unionize
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsThe Constitutional Court has canceled a legal provision banning civil public servants working for the Defense Ministry and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) from establishing labor unions.
Accordingly, civil servants at the institutions will now be permitted to form and join labor unions. The court’s cancellation decision was released April 10 and reported by Anatolia news agency on the following day.
Former TSK union brought to court
The ruling came after the Civilian Public Servants Union (Sime-Sen), the previously established labor union of the TSK, was brought to court by the Ankara Governor’s Office.
Prior to the cancellation, civil public servants at the TSK had established Sime-Sen on Oct. 21, 2011, and applied to the Ankara Governor’s Office in an effort to organize their first general assembly. However, the union was brought before the Ankara 8th Labor Court by the governor’s office on the grounds that the union violated Article 15 of Law No. 4688 on Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“Permanent public civil servants working for the Defense Ministry and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) cannot establish and join labor unions,” stated the relevant article, prompting demands that Sime-Sen’s activities be terminated.
But the expert report, prepared as part of the case, said the relevant judgment of Law No. 4688 had to be referred to the Constitutional Court for a final decision to be made.