The ITUC has denounced the arrest by the Turkish authorities of several members of the country’s Medical Association on the grounds that they criticised Turkish military operations in neighbouring Afrin province in Syria. Those arrested were amongst some 300 detained for speaking out for peace. Warning of a humanitarian crisis, the doctors were denounced by Turkish President Erdogan as “terrorist lovers”.
“Journalists, advocates for human and workers’ rights, politicians and academics are being subjected to wholesale repression by a regime that is heading fast down the path of dictatorship. These latest detentions show just how far President Erdogan will go to supress any and all dissent or disagreement with his government’s policies, to the detriment of the vast majority of the population and to Turkey’s fragile status as a democracy,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.