Turkish unions, professional chambers to stage one-day strike for peace

Turkish unions, professional chambers to stage one-day strike for peace

Turkish unions, professional chambers to stage one-day strike for peace

DHA Photo

Leading labor unions and professional chambers in Turkey have called for a one-day strike to demand peace as they protest government-led military operations in southeastern Anatolia.

With the slogan “We will defense peace against war,” a group of unions and professional chambers led by the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), the Turkish Doctors’ Union (TTB) and the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) will conduct their strike action on Dec. 29, the group announced.

“Requiems are heard in every part of the country and the country is being dragged into war step by step by clashes and massacres as cities and living areas being surrounded. [We cannot] remain silent to these developments, which are irrevocably dragging our people into chaos,” the group said. 

“With military build-ups which resemble a state of war and the spread of clashes throughout the entire region by turning schools, hospitals and state offices into [military] headquarters, cities are being surrounded and evacuated, hundreds of people are being taken from their houses and imprisoned in closed sports halls and children and women are being targeted and slaughtered,” they said.

Referring to people recently taken into custody, the group said: “There is an attempt to suppress the labor and democracy forces objecting to the AKP’s [the ruling Justice and Development Party] war policies. In order to warn the ruling party, we will not provide services by harnessing our power from production which includes our democratic reactions.”

Tens of thousands of civilians in southeast Turkey have been caught in the middle as government forces and militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) battle in urban areas, with the violence shattering hopes of reviving peace talks.

Earlier this month, Turkish security forces launched a large-scale operation hoping to rout militants linked to the PKK, killing more than 180 of them, according to government estimates. Thousands of troops and tanks have been sent to crush pockets of resistance across mainly Kurdish districts, where PKK fighters and youth have set up trenches to keep them at bay. Flashpoints have been under a 24-hour curfew since mid-December.