Sunday, June 01, 2008



Last November many members of the Road Transport Workers' Union (TUMTIS) in Turkey were arrested because of their organizing activity which the Turkish government considers "criminal". Seven remain in prison to this date and others face charges even though they were released. Please read the following appeal from Labour Start, and join the campaign for their release.


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Turkey: Release jailed road transport union members

Members and activists of TÜMTIS (Road Transport Workers’ Union) in Turkey, an affiliate of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), have been accused of "setting up a criminal organisation" after they ran two organising campaigns. If found guilty, the court can take such actions which may shut down the union. A group of members of the Ankara branch of the union were detained on 20 November 2007 and formally arrested three days later. Seven remain in prison. Ten other members were detained at the same time and were subsequently released, but eight have also been charged with the offence of setting up a criminal organisation. The first hearing is due to take place on 6 June 2008. The union's members need international solidarity in order to make their voices be heard by the government.

To read more and send the following letter go to THIS LINK:

Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister
Mr. Mehmet Ali Sahin, Minister of Justice
Dear Sirs,
With deep concern and disappointment I write to your office in support of ITF affiliate, Türkiye Motorlu Tasit Iscileri Sendikasi (TÜMTIS). I learned that six months ago seven members of the Ankara Branch of TÜMTIS were arrested and accused of setting up a criminal organisation. I believe that the arrest of union members in such a groundless way is an attempt to suppress independent trade union activities. I request your office to intervene in order to release all trade union members immediately. Regrettably, the situation has not improved since then, as seven trade unionists remain in prison and together with a further eight union members they have now been charged with the "establishment of a criminal organisation". I believe these charges to be groundless and fully support the union's view that such an allegation is designed to oppress genuine trade union activities and therefore is in breach of ILO Conventions Nos. 98 and 87. I appeal to your good office to intervene to ensure that these TÜMTIS members are freed immediately and unconditionally with all charges dropped. I look forward to your reply.
Yours sincerely,

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