Declaration by the University Solidarity on the repression in Turkey

Photograph: Lefteris Pitarakis/AP (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/19/turkey-sacks-15000-education-workers-in-purge)

Declaration by the international commission of the central council of the University Solidarity trade union, on the repression of educational employees in Turkey

The international commission firmly condemns the campaign of repression, unleashed by the Turkish authorities after the unsuccessful attempt at a military coup on 15—16 July, and directed against workers in the education system, among others. Under the contrived pretext of dealing with accomplices of the coup, the regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan began a large-scale “purge”, with the aim of crushing civil opposition to authoritarianism and the islamisation of Turkey. More than 15,000 employees of state educational institutions and more than 20,000 teachers in private schools have been dismissed, and 1577 university Deans removed. This amounts to a blow struck by the authorities against those social and professional groups who, in their majority, favour Turkey’s progress in a democratic and secular direction. We express our support for teachers and university lecturers in Turkey and demand from the Turkish authorities that they immediately end this repressive policy, and respect fully the labour and civil rights of employees in education and in other sectors. We call on international intergovernmental organisations, federations of trade unions and structures of global civil society to put the greatest possible pressure on the Erdogan regime, to defend our Turkish colleagues from this unjust persecution.

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