”No one wants to punish the innocent”
Turkey's largest workers' union Türk-IS refutes accusations that private opinions are being registered by the government and claims that it is unions that oppose the regime that are just spreading political propaganda.
The conservative union Türk-Is has around 8000 members employed at the State Hydraulic Works, the state agency responsible for water resources in Turkey. Türk-Is’s members are in 80 different workplaces around the country.
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This compares to a few thousand members of the unions DISK and KESK who actively oppose the Turkish regime.
DISK and KESK have accused Türk-Is of asking their members to fill in a form which records private details and personal opinions. This is denied by Türk-Is.
”I have never heard of any such registration”, says Ugras Gök, in charge of international matters. ”Let me look into it and get back to you”.
How can you be so certain?
”I am a personal advisor to the chairmen of the TES unions that organize workers in these workplaces. If something like that was happening, I would know.”
Why would oppositional unions make up something like that?
”Perhaps not made up, but it can be a public relations trick they are pulling, or just plain political propaganda.”
These are two unions who have had thousands of members arrested and dismissed from employment. Why would they use propaganda?
”Unfortunately they tend to do it. You should not believe all that they say. It might be something exaggerated and taken greatly out of proportion.”
What do you mean? We have seen the form which comes from the ministry of forestry and water.
”Some isolated cases and individuals might have received a form like that.”
If that is the case, is the registering of private opinions OK?
”No, but Turkey isn’t Sweden. We have just made it through an attempted bloody coup d’État.”
Does that mean such registration can be acceptable and legitimate?
”No one in this country wants to punish the innocent, but we are in a battle with a powerful terror orgainsation that has been infiltrating our country for the past 40 years.”
Ugras Gök is refering to the Islamic Gülen movement that the government blames of having instigated the attempted coup. Up until four years ago, the movement was a close ally of President Erdogan’s party AKP.
Translation: Ravi Dar