TURKEY: Halt the “witch-hunt” against education employees - URGENT ACTION APPEAL

Education International


TURKEY: Halt the “witch-hunt” against education employees


Dear colleagues,

I encourage you to take urgent action in support of Turkish education employees targeted by an ongoing ‘witch-hunt’ in the aftermath of the failed coup on 15 July 2016. 

Taking advantage of the post-coup investigations, the Turkish Government has launched a series of punitive measures against its own citizens, and particularly against the education community, regardless of the rule of law and of fundamental human rights and freedoms.

The latest figures provided by EĞITIM SEN, our affiliate in Turkey, show the unprecedented scale of this repressive campaign: 28,163 education workers were dismissed. 112 EĞITIM SEN members and officials were removed from their position, including 36 academics who had signed a petition demanding peace. On 8 September 2016, another 11,301 education workers – 9,843 of them EĞITIM SEN members – were suspended.

EĞITIM SEN has requested the support of EI and its affiliates to urge the Turkish authorities to reverse course and rescind the unlawful measures taken against the education community, and to respect their international commitments and obligations. 

EĞITIM SEN will organise a series of protest actions on 26 September and will stage a large demonstration in front of the Ministry of Education in Ankara on 5 October.

Education International calls on its member organisations to take the following actions in support of EĞITIM SEN:


1.    Send an official letter of protest to the Turkish authorities. Please feel free to  use the attached template.

2.    Request a meeting at the Embassy of Turkey in your country. 
You can hand over a copy of the letter of protest to the Turkish representatives in your country and request that they intercede with the Turkish Government.

3.    Stage a demonstration in front of the Embassy of Turkey in your country.
Mobilise your membership to organise a protest action in front of the Embassy premises, preferably on 26 September or 5 October. 

4.    Request your country’s Embassy in Turkey to meet with EĞITIM SEN and other unions to find out about the trade union rights violations.

5.    Invite your Government to denounce the violations of human rights and freedoms in Turkey.

6.    Give visibility to the situation of Turkish education employees:
Share it with your colleagues, union members and within your networks; post it on your website, on Facebook, on Twitter and on all other social media channels.


We also invite you to send a message of solidarity to the colleagues of EĞITIM SEN
(email: international@egitimsen.org.tr).


Education International and its European regional organisation, the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), will keep monitoring the situation closely and bring the current situation of its affiliate EĞITIM SEN to the attention of all relevant international and regional bodies.


We thank you for your solidarity with our Turkish colleagues.


Yours sincerely,


Fred van Leeuwen

General Secretary

Education International