Public Employees Union headquarters attacked after head called for ‘no’ in charter referendum
ANKARAA group of people raided the headquarters of a union in Ankara on Jan. 24, beating the private security personnel and chanting slogans against the union head’s recent objection to constitutional amendments that will give greater powers to the president.
The crowd of 25 arrived at the building of the Public Employees Union (Kamu-Sen), entering inside despite the efforts of security personnel. The head of the union, İsmail Koncuk, had a talk with the representatives of the group, who threatened him while demanding that he resign. The group later left the scene.
The attack came a couple of days after Koncuk made a “no” call against the charter amendments that will go to a referendum in April. Koncuk said he was against amendments that will bring "a system of one-man rule and disrupt the democratic parliamentary system and the division of powers.”
Speaking after the attack, Koncuk said some people “must have sent them,” suggesting that the act was organized. Koncuk also said only the delegates who chose him could call on him to resign.
Meanwhile, some former members of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) condemned the act. Former MHP deputy Koray Aydın said “Kamu-Sen is not an institution that will be silenced with another’s directive.”
“Nobody has a right to divide a nationalist movement to bring about a freak partisan presidential system,” said Aydın.
On Jan. 21, Turkey’s parliament approved a constitutional amendment package that will bring drastic changes to Turkey’s political system.
The 18-article package, which shifts governance from the current parliamentary system to an executive presidential system, will be put to a referendum on either April 2 or 9 in accordance with a date selected by the Supreme Election Board (YSK) after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan approves the amendments.