‘Türk-İş not your backyard,’ Kumlu warns CHP

January 04, 2012, Wednesday/ 15:14:00

Turkish Confederation of Labor Unions (Türk-İş) President Mustafa Kumlu has criticized Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu in a scathing written statement, in which he warns him that he must not view Türk-İş as “his own backyard.”

Kumlu explained that he had felt the need to deliver the statement, which was published under the heading of “An open letter to Kılıçdaroğlu,” following the CHP leader's negative comments directed at Türk-İş's support of a decision made on Thursday regarding the new minimum wage level, a level which, despite the increase, still remains considerably below the hunger line in Turkey.

Kılıçdaroğlu questioned in Parliament on Monday with what “reason and authority they [Türk-İş] were trying to sell out the worker,” adding that Turkey needs to “cleanse itself of this web of unions.”

Warning the CHP leader in his statement that he must not see the confederation as his own territory, Kumlu reminded Kılıçdaroğlu that the CHP is in no way different than other political parties, with whom Türk-İş maintains a strictly professional distance. “We are well aware that you want to see us as your backyard, however, just as Türk-İş is not the backyard of any other political party, we will in no way fulfill such a function for you.”

Kumlu, who emphasized that Türk-İş offered its support to the suggested increase of the minimum wage as it was the best option in a bad situation, went on to say that Türk-İş had been observing Kılıçdaroğlu's negative commentary and behavior toward the group patiently, but that as a community it is becoming increasingly bothered by the conduct of the CHP and is having difficulty in preventing its irritation from turning into a negative reaction against the party.

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