Free Murad Akincilar – stop the criminalisation of trade unionists in Turkey

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! is supporting the campaign by Swiss trade union UNIA to free Murad Ak­in­cilar, who is currently in prison in Turkey awaiting trial on unspecified charges. FRFI has known Murad since he was a Masters student at the Lon­don School of Economics (LSE) in 1991-2.

Murad had been living in Geneva for eight years, having fled political repress­ion in Turkey and sought ref­uge in Swit­zerland. He was em­ployed full time by UNIA as a trade union organiser when he returned to Istanbul this summer for an extended holiday. Despite having received an assurance from the Turkish Ministry of Justice prior to re­turning that he was not wanted for anything, on 30 Septem­ber 2009 Murad was arrested at his home by plain-clothes police. Four days later he was taken to court and remanded in custody. Although the precise details of the accusations against him remain shrouded in secrecy, Murad has been accused of being involved with an illegal organisation – a charge which is strenuously denied.

The Turkish state is well known for repressing its political opponents and for imprisoning and murdering socialists, communists, trade unionists and supporters of the Kurdish liberation struggle. Murad’s comrades and friends are therefore deeply concerned about his detention and, in particular, about his health, as he is suffering from a serious eye complaint, which has al­ready re­s­ul­ted in his having to be taken from prison to hospital. The campaign for Murad’s immediate and unconditional release is supported by trade unions and other organisations throughout Europe, in­cluding the Euro­pean United Left group within the European Parlia­ment. In London FRFI has been gathering support from students at LSE, where Murad was a student. We encourage readers to send letters of protest to the Turkish Am­bas­sador to Britain Mehmet Yigit Alpogan by fax to 020 7393 0066/9213 or post to 43 Belgrave Square London SW1X 8PA or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

FRFI 212 December 2009 / January 2010