Turkish unions, associations to hold rally against ‘terror’

Turkish unions, associations to hold rally against ‘terror’

Turkish unions, associations to hold rally against ‘terror’

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A group of business associations, unions and professional chambers have decided to hold a mass rally in the Turkish capital city of Ankara on Sept. 17 in a show of condemnation of “terror.”

“We are together. Our common denominator is respect for human rights and law. It should be acted upon this feeling of responsibility. We have decided to gather in Ankara at 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 17 by coming from four corners of Turkey,” Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) President Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said at a joint press conference on Sept. 14.

Other participants who accepted the call to attend the rally were the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), the Independent Industry and Business Association (MÜSİAD), the Confederation of Righteous Trade Unions (Hak-İş), the Turkish Public Workers’ Labor Union (Kamu-Sen), the Confederation of Public Servants’ Trade Unions (Memur-Sen), the Turkish Union of Agricultural Chambers (TZOB), the Turkish Confederation of Employers’ Unions (TİSK), the Turkey Tradesmen and Artisans’ Confederation (TESK), the Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions (Türk-İş), the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB), the Union of Chambers of Certified Accountants of Turkey (TÜRMOB) and the Turkish Retired Noncommissioned Officers Association (TEMAD).

The joint call came as the country has been shaken with rising conflict between security forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) since a two-year-old de facto non-conflict collapsed in July. More than 100 police officers and soldiers and hundreds of militants have died in the worst violence Turkey has seen in two decades. 

“I’m calling on the entirety of Turkey to gather at Ankara’s Sıhhiye Square,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said, speaking on behalf of the group which represents a considerably wide part of society. 

“We call on all of our people who curse terror and claim our fraternity. Our biggest power is our fraternity; let’s leave aside provoking statements and putting tension on society. There is no other Turkey,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said, underlining that the rally would not represent any political party or view. “On that day, without ‘otherizing’ anybody, we will say only one thing: ‘No to terror,’” he said, urging people to hang Turkish flags at their residences on Sept. 17 even if they cannot attend the rally.

Hisarcıklıoğlu and representatives of the other groups posed with hats with Turkish flags, which they said would also be distributed to the audience at the rally.