Nongovernment organizations and political leaders have strongly criticized the Turkish government for its detention of Professor Gencay Gursov, chair of the Turkish Medical Association(TTB), who was allegedly arrested because doctors provided medical assistance to demonstrators in the May Day attack by police and army units against workers. His detention came two days after the TTB issued a criminal complaint against Istanbul police officers who used tear gas against workers who had taken shelter in the emergency services of the Sisli Etfai hoospital during May Day demonstrations.
Onder Okay, head of the Ankara Medical A ssociation stated bluntly: “We know the real cause of the detention. We, doctors, do not accept being detained and kept silent.” In most nations of Europe, workers marched peacefully on May Day, but in Turkey, the govenment used its power to smash this peaceful form of worker pride. It is apparent the Turkish government fears the power of workers and this will be an issue when it applies for membership in the European Union.
Does the Muslim oriented Justice and Development Party of Turkey fear the emergence of a more secular worker movement?
The normal political quiet known as Putin Democracy was upset over the past few days when May Day marchers numbering over 50,000 shouted anti-Putin comments as they celebrated worker rights. the demonstration was organzied by the Communist Party and, surprisingly, contained thousands of young people who are growing tired of Putin stability which means low wages and poor working conditions. Members of the National Bolshevik Party shouted anti-Putin slogans. Communist leader, Gennady Zyuganoa, pointed out the average incomes in Russia today was $210 a month while wealthy oligrachs who surrounded Putin amass huge amounts of money.
Tatyana Kadiyeva, marched with her 8 year-old son because, “I can’t stand the abuse of our rights, the confiscation of land and property.” Many marchers urged an end to discrimination against trade unions and appealed for economc support for the elderly who currently are being impacted by risng prices on food items.
Russia has made the quick jump from communist authoritarianism to Putin bureaucratic power with but a short interlude when democracy was allowd to flourish. Perhaps, Meedvedev can embark on a new era in which law assumes more prominence than one’s political connections.