Tag Archives: May Day

Turkey Arrest Professor Over May Day Incidents

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?

May Dayitis Sends Protestors Chanting No To Putin

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.

EU Silence Over Turkish Brutality To Workers

A strange silence was heard in the absence of comments from European nations regarding the brutalilty shown toward Turkish workers on May 1. May Day, a traditional workers’ holiday, is ordinarily marked by festivities and workers marching with banners to proclaim their solidarity with the working class. But, in Turkey, it is normal work day, However, this year when Turkish workers attempted to conduct peaceful marches they were assaulted by thousands of police and soldiers who fired tear gas, beat up marchers, and arrested over 900. The concept of a worker political organization is hostile to the interests of the Justice and Development Party(AKP).

The European Union is already upset at a court case which threatens to dissolve the AKP due to charges it is attempting to subvert the secular institutions of Turkey with religious Muslim ideas. The EU is also concerned about the infamous Article 301 of the Turkish Constitution which makes illegal insulting the Turkish nation, whatever that means.

Turkish government brutality towards its workers will not go unnoticed when its appllication for membership in the EU reaches the table of decision making.

May Day Mayhem In Turkey

May Day is an occasion during which working people throughout the world march in demonstrations that ordinarily entail nothing more than a peaceful stroll through the streets of a major city. But, May Day in Instanbul, turned into a something short of torture for demonstrators, tourists, expats, journalists and the average citizen because the Turkish government exerted its power against trade unions. As the day began, thousands of police were stationed on roads leading into Taksim Square where unions wanted to hold their rally, the square has symbolic value to those in the union movement. Observers noted the police outnumbered marchers and the scene at the square became surreal as marchers clashed with police and soon were assaulted by a barrage of gas which caused many to choke and gasp for breath.

A Finnish born doctor living in great Britain named Margarita, noted in most countries, May Day is a time for “holiday, big peaceful demonstrations. This is bloody annoying. I am terrified.” Soysal, a deputy with the CHP tried to stand up to police and urge, “Don’t do this, it is wrong. Police provoked the people here. May Day is celebrated all around the world as a day of celebrations, workers paid the price for this right. But the government does not want to hear the voice of the workers. The ruling Justice and Development Party(AKP) does not want an organized opposition.”

During the day, police even sent tear gas into the Sisli Etfai hospital causing patients to flee in terror. The police claim they arrested about 500 demonstrators but union offiicals believe the total is closer to 900.

The real result of this massive use of police power for no purpose other than to demonstrate the power of government is the impact of the AKP’s actions on its proposed membership in the European Union. Few EU governments will tolerate such abuse of the rights of workers to demonstrate peacefully on an important holiday.

No Gay Time For Gays In Moscow May Festivities

Gay rights activist Nikolai Alexeyev blasted the Moscow City hall after Mayor Yury Luzkhov’s office turned down a proposal for a gay pride parade durng the holidays at the start of May. Sergei Tsoi, a spokesperson for the mayor, accused gay rights activists of attempting to spoil a wonderful May Day labor oriented celebration by their desire to parade since such an action would mean there “could be blood, which no one wants.” His comment drew an angry response from Alexeyev who pointed out: “As if gays don’t support peace and don’t work. Don’t we pay taxes that support this government. I don’t underestand this at all.”

In 2006, Mayor Luzhkov described the idea of a gay parade as a “satanic event and his office has turned down every request by gays for a parade since then. The Moscow City Court has upheld the right of City Hall to turn down requests for parades as perfectly constitutional.