On 19 November 2009, in Izmir, a trial opened, with 22 trade unionists, from the public sector confederation KESK, accused of supporting a terrorist organisation – the trial was postponed, and the issue is still not resolved. During the same period, in Tuzla shipyards in the suburb of Istanbul, the leaders of the dockers’ trade union received death threats from a company manager, for defending workers who had been unlawfully sacked.
Such pressures and judicial harassment are the daily lot of trade unionists and many human rights defenders in Turkey.
This situation is not new. The relatives of 34 victims of the tragedy on 1 May1977 during the workers’ day demonstration on Taksim Square in Istanbul, as well as those of the massacres of Karahmanmaras or Sivas, are still waiting for truth, justice and compensation.
Several Turkish civil society organisations want an end to the impunity tolerated for past and present violations and denounce the fact that the famous “Ergenekon case” still does not include the abuses committed before the election of the AKP government.