Turkey Government Threatens To Send In The Army On Striking Unions

on June 17 2013 11:16 AM
  • Ankara, Turkey, Protest
    A protester is sprayed by the police's water cannon during a demonstration at Kizilay Square in central Ankara, Turkey, on Sunday. Reuters/Dado Ruvic
  • DISK Protest
    Members of the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey, or DISK, take part in a protest in central Ankara, Turkey, Monday. Reuters
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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc threatened to send the army on any remaining protestors in Gezi Park or nearby Taksim Square after Turkish police used tear gas and water cannons to clear to park over the weekend. In response to the violent eviction, several labor unions representing approximately 800,000 workers, including doctors, engineers and dentists, have gone on a one-day strike.

“Our police, our security forces are doing their jobs. If it's not enough then the gendarmes will do their jobs. If that's not enough ... we could even use elements of the Turkish Armed Forces,” Arinc said in an interview  with Turkey’s A Haber channel.

Interior Minister Muammer Guler warned of similar actions and said the strike was “illegal,” Al-Jazeera reports. "I am calling on public workers and laborers to not participate in unlawful demonstrations -- otherwise, they will bear the legal consequences," Guler said. "Our police will be on duty as usual."

The two main unions involved are the Confederation of Public Workers' Unions, or KESK, and Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions, or DISK, the Independent reports. Police have remained stationed at Taksim Square since it was cleared. More reports of police firing tear gas came out of Ankara, Turkey’s capital, overnight on Monday. Six-hundred people were arrested on Sunday, AFP reports.

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