Sunday, June 16, 2013

Turkey: Unions call strike over Erdogan's crackdown

(BBC) Unions in Turkey have called a one-day nationwide strike to protest against the police crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.

The Confederation of Public Workers' Unions (KESK) and Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK) are demanding an end to "police violence".

The move comes after continued sporadic clashes between protesters and police in Istanbul and the capital Ankara.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has angrily defended the crackdown.

Addressing tens of thousands of supporters in Istanbul on Sunday, Mr Erdogan said it had been his duty to order the eviction of the protesters in the city's Gezi Park the previous night.

The protests, he said, were "nothing more than the minority's attempt to dominate the majority", adding: "We could not have allowed this and we will not allow it."

He also denied behaving like a dictator, criticised foreign media, and vowed to "identify one by one those who have terrorised the streets".

Once Erdogan has finished disemboweling Turkey, there is no way that he can put things back the way they were.