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Newsletter (in English)


Comrade Meryem Çağ, an active member of the trade union federation of public sector workers KESK, was fired from her job at the Izmir regional customs office in mid-May. The firing of this trade unionist by the Turkish state is obviously politically motivated.

Meryem Çağ was arrested on April 28, 2009, in a nationwide police action against the trade union halls of the KESK and its education union Egitim Sen, along with dozens of other trade unionists. The tenth Criminal Court in Izmir heard the evidence on November 19-20. 21 men and ten women were accused of membership in the banned Workers Party of Kurdistan or in organizations close to the PKK, or to support these organizations with their trade union work.

“This is a political trial against us. It is only superficially about the Kurdish question,” said the Egitim Sen chairman Sübeyde Kılıç about the trial in Izmir. “This is an attack on our union. The government is fighting against us because we support the rights of public service workers. We want public education and health care, and we defend ourselves against the plans to have workers pay the costs of the crisis.”

After two days of trial, the judges overturned the arrest order against ten women and twelve men who have been in prison in Izmir since the end of April. This was seen as a success of the international solidarity campaign, which is also supported by the German education union GEW. Even though not one of the indicted trade unionists has been convicted yet, the firing of Meryem Çag by the disciplinary committee (which is illegal according toTurkish laws) is an attempt to set an example.

Please send protests against the politically motivated firing of Meryem Çağ to the Ministry Secretary Maksut Mete (E-mail: and Minister Hayati Yazici (Fax: 0-312-4191545, Address: Başbakanlık Merkez Bina, Bakanlıklar / Ankara)

by Nick Brauns, Marxist Initiative (published originally on the MI site in German and Turkish)

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