We will not give in to the AKP arrest system! Our friends who are under arrest must be released!

Turkey wakes up each morning to a new wave of arrests. The AKP is trying to silence and intimidate every opposition voice, all different views, by using repression and arrests.

Today it carried out operations in 28 towns and cities early in the morning, arresting 167 people, among them members of KESK (Confederation of Workers in the Public Sector).

Among those detained are Akman Simsek, member of the board of KESK, as well as his wife Mehtap Simsek. Numerous members and office-holders of our trade union  have been detained, accompanied by the scenarios already known to us. The central office of KESK was visited by the police.

The AKP tries, with such political operations and using every means of repression, to prevent the most natural and legitimate trade union activities of our KESK confederation and the trade unions which belong to it.

The present period shows us which stage the “expertly” conducted authority of the AKP and the system of repression and arrests fashioned by it have reached. In the meantime we all know very well that those who criticise the policies of the AKP will be met with similar repression and operations designed to intimidate them.

With the arrest system it has created, the AKP shows great intolerance towards KESK and the unions belonging to KESK which do not give in to anti-democratic measures and raise their voices against repression. But it is not just KESK and the trade unions belonging to KESK which are a target…

This operation can be seen as a continuation of the recent attack on the CHD (Contemporary Lawyers’ Association) and an attempt to use totally incomprehensible pretexts to prevent the defence of the rights of all oppressed layers of the population. This time our members and office-holders have been targeted by an operation, not for any illegal action, but for the “offence” of participating in an organised struggle against the AKP government. Our union members and office-holders are arrested for carrying out legitimate trade union activities and are imprisoned for actions and events which are carried out within the framework of trade union activities.

Just like in the past, we will also not be silent today about those who seek to oppress us, and about any illegal measures which aim to divert us from our just struggle.

The repression directed at our trade union, whose activities are completely open, by those who do nothing to punish corruption and the taking away of our rights, is unacceptable.

These completely obvious efforts of the AKP to send a “political message” to opposition circles will never achieve their aim.

As Egitim-Sen (“Education Trade Union”) we do not accept having our trade union activities and our actions and events on a basis of democratic demands being criminalised and our friends being arrested on unjust pretexts.

We condemn the arrest of our friends, who sought to make use of their most democratic rights, and we demand their immediate release. Like all those circles which are the target of the political authorities, we will come together for common aims, unite our forces and work together against the rule of terror which the AKP seeks to create.



The list of our arrested friends is as follows, so far as is known:


Member of the central governing board of KESK: Akman Simsek

Egitim-Sen Ankara No.1 branch: Gulden Kalkan

Egitim-Sen Artvin branch: Adem Yucel (member of the representative board in Arhavi)

Egitim-Sen Aydin branch: Ali Gun (Egitim-Sen organisational secretary in Aydin), Gulten Erden Karadas (Egitim-Sen womens’ secretary in Aydin), Erdal Karadas

Egitim-Sen Antalya branch: Mehtap Simsek, Zuher Capar, Huseyin Erdem, Aynur Altan (member of the BES trade union for office workers)

Egitim-Sen Istanbul No. 1 branch: Asir Emir, Yalcin Duzgun, Ozgur Dogan, Aydin Maho

Egitim-Sen Istanbul No. 2 branch: Nazife Onay

Egitim-Sen Istanbul No. 3 branch: Nursel Tanriverdi (Egitim-Sen Istanbul No. 3 branch, organisation secretary), Sinan Esiyok (Egitim-Sen Istanbul No. 3 branch, member of supervisory council), Ayse Tuncer, Erdem Sevil Polat

Egitim-Sen Istanbul No. 4 branch: Erkan Karatas, Fatma Dogan, Veli Zengin

Egitim-Sen Istanbul No. 5 branch: Mehmet Sarı

Egitim-Sen Istanbul No. 7 branch: Aynur Barkin (Egitim-Sen No. 7 branch, education secretary), Omer Acik, Osman Caglayan.

Egitim-Sen Istanbul No. 8 branch: Nugyen Nedim

Egitim-Sen No.1 Izmir branch: Aysegul Izmirli, Aytekin Dalkilic, Eyup Aksoy (Egitim-Sen Tire-representative), Hayri Aktas (Torbali), Pinar Aktas (member of BES),

Egitim-Sen Izmir No. 2 branch: Yasar Aslan, Ozkan Kelek, Serpil Kelek

Egitim-Sen Izmir No. 4 branch: Atra Bellur Calim (Egitim-Sen Izmir No. 4 branch, education secretary), Mevlut Akdemir.

Egitim-Sen Bursa branch: Erdal Yalcin, Yalcin Ozay, Mustafa Tuna, Ozgur Yilmaz, Ismail Dogan, Dervis Lermin (member of the SES trade union for health and social services)

Egitim-Sen Mersin branch: Mehmet Dogan (member of Silifke board), Bulent Coskun (member of Silifke board), Sinan Besiroglu, Ayhan Colak (Egitim-Sen Tarsus branch, organisation secretary), Ibrahim Saygili (member of board of Tarim Orkam-Sen – trade union for agriculture, forests and livestock), Guven Akaltun (member of board of BES), Vahap Alptekin (member of Yapi Yol-Sen -building workers’ union)

Egitim-Sen Malatya branch: Erdogan Canpolat, Nevin Canpolat, Z. Ejder Sutcu, Erhan Sezer, Ramazan Bayram, Ebru Cetin, Ozkan Karatas, Mehmet Dizdar

Egitim-Sen Hatay branch: Ayhan Erkal (chair of department), Sabah Aras (womens’ secretary), Cuneyt Kayikci (chair of the representation of Samandag), Esat Kudret (member of board in Samandag), Ahmet Karacay, Dilek Kayikci, Kamer Kudret, Ahmet Aras (SES member), Yavuz Yesbek (SES member), Merih Sanli (SES member)

Egitim-Sen Gaziantep branch: Huseyin Sinan Besler, Nimet Islamoglu, Mustafa Abaci (SES member)

Egitim-Sen Kars branch: Selahattin Ozsahin (Caucasus University), Zekeriya Turan Seckin.

Egitim-Sen Konya branch: Ismail Bulbul (representative of Beysehir), Hakan Gunes (member of board of Aksehir).

Egitim-Sen Balikesir branch: Cafer Keles, Ferhat Dogan, Erdogan Koc.

Egitim-Sen Canakkale branch: Emin Ali Mollaoglu, Makbule Caglar

Egitim-Sen Sivas branch: Ali Beyaztas (department secretary)

Egitim-Sen Tekirdag branch: Erdal Korkmaz (department chair)

Egitim-Sen Tunceli branch: Gurdal Calik

SES Antalya branch: Umut Aras


Egitim-Sen Merkez Yurutme Kurulu – Egitim-Sen Trade Union Central Management Council