Leading unions take reserved approach towards Gezi protests
Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, the president of TOBB, read out a joint statement on the protests. Daily News Photo, Emrah GürelRepresentatives of a variety of labor and trade unions have displayed a fairly reserved approach concerning the Gezi Park unrest, hovering between supporting democratic rights and warning against those with “bad intentions.”
The heads of a total of six unions – the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Türk-İş), one of Turkey’s biggest union confederations; the Confederation of Turkish Craftsmen and Tradesmen (TESK); the Turkish Agricultural Chambers Union (TZOB); the Confederation of Turkish Real Trade Unions (Hak-İş), the Civil Servants’ Trade Union (Memur-Sen) and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) – announced their stance on the ongoing protests at a press conference hosted by TOBB on June 6.
Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, the president of TOBB, read out a joint statement as he said that they had been closely monitoring the protests and they supported the use of democratic rights by the citizens.
Hisarcıklıoğlu, nonetheless, also warned against things getting out of control.
“However, lately, we regrettably see that demonstrations are attempted to be drawn to different courses by marginal groups, the developments provide the ground to serve those with bad intentions toward our country,” he said.
The unions called for respect to democracy and made a call on people not to hinder the safety of citizens and protection of public property while using their democratic rights.
“Our sincere citizens must be sensitive about this and should not allow criminal actions such as burning, and destroying to overshadow rights and freedoms,” they warned.
The statement came a day after some other leading unions and professional chambers, including the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), the Public Workers Unions Confederation (KESK), the Turkish Doctors’ Union (TTB) and the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) as well as members of left-wing political parties and members of civil society organizations went on a warning strike on June 5, a day before the designated date, and gathered in Kızılay Square of the capital city of Ankara in order to protest the crackdown on the Gezi protests.