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Turkish unions go on strike

17 June 2013

Two of Turkey’s main trade union federations, KESK and DISK, will go on strike Monday in protest at a police crackdown on anti-government demonstrators in Istanbul.

KESK has some 240,000 members in 11 unions and will also be joined by unions representing doctors, engineers and dentists.

The Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), the Turkish Doctors’ Union (TTB), the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) and the Turkish Dentists Union (TDHB) have called on workers to take to the streets in a joint decision.

“The ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP] government has launched an offensive against the nation, who refuse to give up their rights and freedoms by staging an insistent resistance,” the group said in a statement.

The members of the unions will stop working on June 17 except for emergency cases and will march to their cities’ centres.

The group has also asked for tolerance because of the disruption and also demanded the support of the people in the squares for a more “egalitarian, free and democratic Turkey.”

The members of the five syndicates that will begin demonstrations as of today could reach “hundreds of thousands,” according to a KESK official.

“We will take the streets using our power of production,” said the general secretary of DISK, Kani  Beko.

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