Filipino workers held a rally near the Turkish Embassy inside a plush village in Makati this morning to call on the government in Ankara to stop the violence against protesters and yield to its citizens’ legitimate demands.
A group of workers belonging to the NAGKAISA!, the largest coalition of trade unions and workers organizations, briefly scuffled with the security guards of Forbes Park and Dasmariñas Village gates in EDSA, Makati City, after the former attempted to enter the exclusive neighborhood to get to the Embassy of Turkey.
NAGKAISA!, thru a scathing letter to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, called for an end to the brutal repression of the Ankara government against its protesters in Gezi Park and other parts of Turkey.
“Together with the global labor movement, we are concerned at the use of brutal and excessive violence by government security forces against people peacefully exercising their rights of freedom of assembly, an essential part of freedom of expression… We are concerned that your Government engages in such repression as a regular practice based on earlier episodes. Still fresh in our minds is this year’s May Day Celebrations, which were supposed to take place in Taksim Square in Istanbul. “
The letter also demanded for the following:
- The Government in Ankara should put an end to state violence against peaceful demonstrators and ensure that the right of freedom of expression and assembly is guaranteed in all public areas of Turkey.
- Those responsible for the thousands of injured people and the deaths of Mehmet Ayval?ta?, Abdullah Cömert, Ethem Sar?sülük and Mustafa Sar? should be held accountable, dismissed from their posts and prosecuted before the law.
- Detained citizens who attended the protests across the country should be immediately released with an official statement declaring that there will not be any investigations pursued into them.
- All the legal and practical barriers against the exercise of trade union rights are removed and the right to strike is respected
- KESK trade unionists, detained journalists and all others unjustly held for legitimate acts of protests and opposition should be released immediately.
“We are all Turks!,” stated Edwn Bustillos, Deputy Secretary-General of the Alliance of Progressive Labor-NAGKAISA. Bustillos, a speaker at the rally, condemned the corporate grab of parks in Turkey and other parts of the world, and the criminalization of those who protest against it.