TURKEY: Republican activist killed as the Kesk trade union calls two-day strike against “state terror”

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By John Millington

22 year old political activist Abdullah Cömer has been shot dead by Turkish police amid growing unrest and accusations of “state terror” in the country.

Mr Comert was shot in the head in Armutlu, Antioch and is thought to be a member of the Youth Section of the People’s Republican Party of Turkey (CHP).

The young activist is reported to have said this in his final message just moments before he was killed:

“I only got five hours of sleep in three days. I was exposed to gas bombs so many times. Three times I had a close brush with death. And do you know what people say: ‘Is it you to save the country?’

Yes. Even if we can’t save it, we will die for it. (I am so much tired. For three days, I am standing with seven energy drinks and nine pain pills. I have got a hoarse voice but I am still on the streets since six o’clock in the morning. Just for the revolution”

One hour before the killing which has sparked outrage across the country, Hatay Parliamentarian representative of the CHP, Refik Eryılmaz, called the Chief of Police in the region and warned against continuing police violence.

Mr Eryılmaz said ‘Police should withdraw from the region. Police attacks people and enters into houses by force’.

The CHP is an affiliate to the Socialist International – a body where the UK Labour Party holds “observer” status.

Widespread protests across Turkey erupted last Friday when a demonstration to halt construction  in a park in Istanbul grew into mass protests against a heavy-handed police crackdown and what opponents call Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s “authoritarian policies.”

The Prime Minister continues to insist that protesters are “arm in arm with terrorists.”

However one of the country’s biggest trade unions KESK has called a two strike beginning today against what it describes as  “state terror” amid growing civil unrest and the brutal crackdown by police and security forces.

The union which represents 240,000 workers and is an affiliate of the European and international trade union confederations (ETUC/ITUC) said it is opposed to ruling party AKP’s “fascism” and has instructed members to wear black ribbons and black clothes and to go out and protect workers and workplaces during the strike.

In a statement, the union’s executive board said there had been hundreds wounded in clashes with thousands arrested in night-time raids across several major cities in the country.

Other activists in the country including the Communist Party of Turkey have said they will march to Gezi Parkı today – a focal point of on going protests.

MORE TO FOLLOW…

  • The Dreadnaught has asked the ITUC for comment on the current situation for labour activists in the country but has so far received no reply
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