Workers’ rights deteriorating in Turkey: CHP head
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
AA PhotoRising unemployment and obstacles to unionization show that workers’ rights are deteriorating in Turkey, main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said on Feb. 12, speaking at the 15th general assembly of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK).
“We have over 6 million unemployed citizens and over 17 million people living in poverty. The biggest obstacle to unionization is unemployment. If sub-contracted workers can’t become union members and if they can’t say ‘I have rights too’ out of fear, that means we have a serious problem,” Kılıçdaroğlu told the DİSK meeting.
Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chair Selahattin Demirtaş and Labor and Social Security Minister Süleyman Soylu were also present at the DİSK assembly meeting.
As Soylu entered the hall, a group of those present chanted anti-government slogans, leading to Soylu walking out of the hall after the protests continued.
Speaking after the incident, Kılıçdaroğlu said the protesters should have listened to the minister speak.
“If you have invited guests, it’s your duty to listen to them. I wish they hadn’t shown this reaction [against Soylu], so that at least we could have learned what he thinks about severance pay, for example,” said the CHP leader.
“We have therefore lost the chance to tell him our opinions and demands. I wish this opportunity had not been lost,” he added.
Soylu told reporters later on Feb. 12 that he had left the hall because the slogans were chanted against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and he did not want to remain in such an atmosphere where Erdoğan was “insulted.”