Erdoğan’s witch-hunt against (Kurdish) healthcare workers in “Türkiye” continues

Scandalously fabricated accusations by a sold-out judiciary keep workers in prison for as long as possible — like Gönul Erden, in jail since 22 September 2021, and Selma Atabey, who has just been arrested last 4 July for “breach of bail conditions”

Gonul Erden, SES former co-president (left) and Selma Atabey, current SES co-president
Gönul Erden, SES former co-president (left), at the PSI Congress held in Gevena in 2017; and Selma Atabey, current SES co-president, at the SES office in Ankara in April 2022
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International solidarity: PSI, EPSU and Unison have been attending countless trials against SES, such as the one on 6 April 2022 (photo), since Erdoğan — elected president in 2014 — served as Prime Minister of Turkey, from 2003 to 2014.

“Covid has increased the visibility of the work done by SES, which has led to a significant increase in the number of members. Today, we are around 30,000; 6,000 [members] having joined just last year. So, I see these processes as a counterattack by the government to undermine the population’s trust in us, health workers,” says Selma.

Current SES Executive Committee members and office staff in Ankara: Ms Pinar Icel, General Secretary (medical doctor for 10 years); Ms Selma Atabey, Co-President (nurse since 1995); Mr Husnu Yildirim, Co-President (technician for 35 years); Ms Gonul Adibelli, Women’s Secretary (midwife for 35 years); Ms Eylem Kaya Eroglu, Legal Affairs and Collective Bargaining Agreement Secretary (nurse for 20 years); Mr Tayyar Ozcan, Treasure (nurse for 32 years)r; Mr Siddik Akin, Press and Training Secretary (nurse); Mr Çağrı Yılmaz, SES staff.
Osman Isci, who works in the international affairs department of KESK, the national center of which SES is part, in front of the SES office building in Ankara

“The Covid pandemic turned out to be a great pretext for the government to accuse SES members of receiving and passing on ‘terrorist’ instructions to the Kurdish communities served by these health workers,” points out Osman Isci, who works in the international affairs department of the Confederation of Public Employees’ Trade Unions (KESK), the national center of which SES is part of.

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Public Services International is a global trade union representing 30 million working women and men who deliver vital public services in 154 countries