By our correspondent
18 February 2009
Some 40,000 people demonstrated in Istanbul February 15 against the policies of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) government in the midst of the country’s enormous economic crisis.
The demonstration was jointly organised by the Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions (Turk-Is), the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK) and the Confederation of Public Workers Unions (KESK) under the slogan, “We Will Not Pay the Price of the Crisis: Labour and Democracy Rally for a Joint Fight against Unemployment and Poverty.”
Marchers carried banners declaring, “Collective bargaining is our right, the strike is our weapon,” “Price hikes, persecution, torture, here you are, the AKP,” “Factories are our strongholds, they can’t be closed down,” and “We will not pay for crisis.” Demonstrators chanted slogans such as: “Let the bosses pay for the crisis” and “Stop the labour thief AKP.”
A group of shipyard workers who have lost dozens of their fellow workers in accidents over the last number of years participated in the demonstration. They wore black aprons carrying the slogan, “No to workplace murders.”