Date Released: 12 October 2015
Commenting on the bomb attacks on a peaceful pro-democracy and justice demonstration in Ankara, Turkey, on Saturday (10th October), International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) general secretary Steve Cotton stated: “A nation’s heart is breaking today. These attacks targeted what is best about Turkey, and some of its most idealistic and motivated people. We in the international union movement share that grief.
“Among the main organisers of this peaceful demonstration were trade unions affiliated to the ITF. Among the dead are good friends of ours such as Ali Kitapci of the Birlesik Tasimacilik Çalisanlari Sendikasi (BTS) union. I can personally attest to the fact that for years Ali upheld workers’ rights in Turkey and the duty of unions to protect them. It is typical that he should have been attending an event designed to defend peace and democracy. The loss of such a man, and the loss of all those killed on Saturday, is immeasurable.”
ITF president Paddy Crumlin added: “These shameless attacks cannot be forgiven. They must be fully, effectively – and transparently – investigated. That process must be open to international observers.”
He concluded: “We don’t yet know who was responsible for this outrage. We do know how grievously they have damaged the causes of peace and democracy. We also know that even as the innocent, some of them our friends, are dying or in hospital, the values they were defending on Saturday will be upheld and promoted and carried on in their name by trade unionists and people of good will worldwide.
“It is in that spirit that trade unions in Turkey are declaring three day of mourning and a two-day strike in protest at this appalling attack. We fully support them.”