We will take to the streets for the laboring people; not for the bosses!

Declaration of Bank-Sen, Progressive Union of Bank and Insurance Workers of Turkey

[A note by Sendika.org – MB:

Last month, the head of DİSK, the The Confederation of Progressive Turkish Trade Unions defended the head of the largest and the most reactionary Boss’ Association, TÜSİAD (Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association of Turkey) against an empty threat with prosecution by the government. While thousands of workers, union members, students, laborers and innocent people have been detained, jailed, tortured and killed by the government and the bosses, it was interesting to see the head of the most progressive confederation of unions to support the most reactionary organization of capital. Süleyman Çelebi, the head of DİSK (The Confederation of Progressive Turkish Trade Unions) said they would take to the streets to defend Mustafa Koç’s rights against an unjust government action. Mustafa Koç is one of the most richest people in Turkey with close ties to military, the government and each and every sector where there is profit to be made. This statement caused an uproar among the workers and unions that belong to the workers confederation.

The statement here is in relation to that defense from the Progressive Union of Bank and Insurance Workers of Turkey, Bank-Sen which is also a member of the DİSK confederation.


The last month of the previous year brought with it a public discussion on our confederation DİSK and the statement by our General Chief Süleyman Çelebi, saying “if need be, we will take it to the streets for Mustafa Koç”. The concern from the standpoint of the working class that this statement and its discussion brings necessitates a clarification to our members and to the public and a reminder on the principles and goals of our union and a declaration of our future actions.

As a class organization, our union and our confederation have, as a goal, “to end all exploitation and oppression against the working class and the laboring people.” In our ongoing struggle against exploitation, due to their very nature, capital and its political power have, at every opportunity, been our opponents, and they will continue to be that. We can only further and protect the interests of the working class by struggling against capital and its power. We can do this as we have done from the end of the ’60’s to September 12th of 1980. (When a reactionary military coup took power. Translator’s note.) Our class struggle history is evident as given by Kemal Türkler, Abdullah Baştürk, Kenan Budak and so many brave leaders that we can not list here. The military coup of September 12th which banned the activities of our confederation and its unions, which brought death, torture and prison for our members and its leaders, was not the work of a handful of generals but was the work of capital including Koç, Sabancı and TÜSİAD (Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association of Turkey).

The class of capital which declared, “it’s our turn to laugh now,” which has come a long way since then, has not been bound by anything in its looting, exploitation and submission to imperialism. The government of JDP (Justice and Development Party) is the result of looting in finance, retail and energy in 2005 by Koç as well as the result of support Vehbi Koç (his father) gave the fascist generals of September 12th. All of them are against the interests of the working class, DİSK (The Confederation of Progressive Turkish Trade Unions), and laboring people of our country.

Our confederation and our union which is defined as Revolutionary are not in the same boat with them and never will be. The government of JDP (Justice and Development Party) is in the same boat with capital and imperialism. The working class and our unions can only expect to have as much bright future as their struggle against them.

The quarrel between Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Prime Minister) and Mustafa Koç can neither conceal the fact that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (RTE-PM) or his party JDP (Justice and Development Party) have submitted our country to imperialism, nor the looting and exploitation by KOÇ holdings internally or on foreign lands. Just because our class enemies are arguing, we will neither forget Tüpraş-Shell-Koç (petroleum consortium) neither do we asses this squabble under the heading of freedoms.

The “rapprochement between TÜSİAD and DİSK” cheered by the capital’s media is against all goals, principles and values of the working classes represented by our union and our confederation and it means treason against the working class as long as one takes part in it.

As the Executive Committee of Bank-Sen (Progressive Union of Bank and Insurance Workers of Turkey), with the full knowledge that the interests of the capital class will only bring slavery to the working class and not freedom, we would like the public to know that;

we would oppose this process;

instead of taking to the streets for TÜSİAD or KOÇ, we would struggle for the laboring classes who are being employed without any benefits, illegally without any insurance, without a union and have been condemned to hunger, exploitation and unemployment by the capital class including TÜSİAD and KOÇ;

in the name of the values that structure our union and our confederation we would refuse to participate in any meeting, event or declaration for KOÇ.

January 6th, 2006

Progressive Union of Bank and Insurance Workers of Turkey.

Address: Nakiye Elgün Sok. No:117 Şişli / İSTANBUL
Tel: (0-212) 232 10 00
Fax: (0-212) 246 41 12
Web site: : http://www.banksen.org.tr
e-mail: [email protected]


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