Riot police fire tear gas at protesters during a demonstration in Ankara on June 3, 2013.
Tue Jun 4, 2013 2:18PM GMT
Turkey’s main union federation has launched a two-day strike to protest against the violent police crackdown on anti-government demonstrations.
The Confederation of Public Workers’ Unions (KESK), which represents some 240,000 workers, started a two-day strike from Tuesday in support of the protests.
The left-wing union has accused the government of committing “state terror.”
“The state terror implemented against entirely peaceful protests is continuing in a way that threatens civilians’ life safety,” the KESK said in a statement, adding that the crackdown shows the government’s “enmity to democracy.”
The action will likely affect schools, universities and public offices across Turkey.
Meanwhile, fresh anti-government demonstrations have taken place in Istanbul and the capital, Ankara.
At least three people have been killed and more than a thousand injured since the beginning of anti-government protests in Turkey on May 31. Authorities say over 2,000 people have been also detained.
The mass nationwide anti-government protests began after security forces attacked a peaceful four-day sit-in by environmental activists against the demolition of Gezi Park in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Friday. Protesters have called for the resignation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The protesters condemned the Turkish government as a “fascist government” and called Erdogan a new “Sultan.”
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Deputy PM Bulent Arinc has apologized to protesters injured in demonstrations opposing the demolition of Gezi Park, saying the demonstrations against the demolition of the park were “just and legitimate.”
“The use of excessive force shown against the people who initially started this protest with the motive of protecting the environment was wrong. And it was unfair. So I apologize to those citizens,” Arinc said at a news conference in Ankara.