European Coordination Via Campesina supports Çiftçi-Sen

and denounces the lack of union liberty in Turkey

On December 2nd, the Farmer Union Confederation Çiftçi-Sen, member of the European Coordination Via Campesina is facing a law suit where the legality of the Confederation is at stake.

The governorship of Ankara is demanding the closure of the Confederation on the basis that there are no domestic legal arrangements allowing for farmers to establish unions.

The Turkish Republic has failed to bring domestic law in concordance with the international agreements it has ratified, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ILO Convention concerning freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise. However, international treaties prevail over domestic laws and therefore this law suit has no legal justification.

The European Coordination Via Campesina composed of more than 20 farmers' and agricultural workers' unions in Europe, is extremely concerned about the respect of the fundamental rights of the Turkish farmers and citizens. We denounce the criminalisation of unions and demand respect for the free association in unions.

The respect of humqn right is Turkey is a basic condition for the membership in the European Union.

Çiftçi-Sen defends the rights and the work of the milions of small-scale farmers, men and women, in Turkey, which often face difficult situations because of the domination of transnational companies or the state institutions, and therefore contributes to the achievement of food sovereignty in this country.

We urgently ask the governorship of Ankara to respect the right to free association and consequently drop the lawsuit. The Turkish institutions should support actively the organisation of farmers, which will benefit the whole of Turkish society.

We call all social movements to support Çiftçi-Sen in their struggle for union representation of farmers.


Marit Jordal: +4738341080
Josie Riffaud: +33613105291
Abdullah Aysu (chairman of Çiftçi-Sen): +90 532 264 06 24 (Turkish)
Nejat Dinc (Çiftçi-Sen): +90 539 606 02 70 (English- French)