People from all over Wales, Scotland and England held pickets and direct actions targeting travel agents on Saturday 4 May. Their message was simple: ‘Don’t Holiday in Turkey’.
Focus on TUI
The actions have been focused on TUI (formerly Thomson holidays). The company owns or franchises a long list of hotels in Turkey.
our diversified portfolio means we will continue to benefit from growth in demand for Turkey.
The Canary contacted TUI for a comment on the 4 May protests but had not received a reply at the time of publication.
TUI occupied in Bristol
Protesters in Bristol occupied the Broadmead branch of TUI. They were evicted by the police. But they carried on a lively protest outside.
Bristol Kurdish Solidarity tweeted:
We occupied TUI in Bristol today to protest their support for the Turkish State & in solidarity with İmam Şiş and the #hungerstrike. We call on TUI to stop investing in Turkey & to stop selling Turkish holidays, until Erdogan resumes the peace process & stops funding terror. pic.twitter.com/f9jhThaVKl
— BristolKurdishSolidarity (@BrisKurdSolNet) May 4, 2019
Call for boycott actions in support of the hunger strike
According to a press release from Bristol Kurdish Solidarity:
Over 7,000 Kurdish activists are on hunger strike across the world. This action was initiated by Kurdish member of the Turkish Parliament, Leyla Güven, on 7th November 2018. Imam Sis, a 32 year old Kurdish resident of Newport, has been on an indefinite hunger strike since [December] 2018. Their health is rapidly deteriorating. Two of the protesters who occupied TUI today joined the hunger strike in solidarity with Leyla, Imam and the thousands of other hunger strikers…
Every pound spent in Turkey is a bullet to be used against Kurdish people.
End the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan
Roundup of actions
Pickets, demonstrations and direct actions also took place in Barry, Swansea, Newport, Cardiff, Roath, Brighton, Hull, Exeter, Merthyr Tydfil, Manchester, Dundee and London.
Activists in Barry flyposted branches of TUI with posters in support of the boycott. The posters included photographs of Kurdish hunger striker Imam Sis.
Several demonstrations were held at TUI branches in Cardiff. The windows of TUI were covered in pictures of Sis and pro hunger striker graffiti appeared around the city.
A lively demonstration was held in Hull.
And a picket was also held in Brighton.
Further demonstrations are planned next week in Liverpool and Bangor.
“We are going to persist”
Kurdish Solidarity Cymru told The Canary:
In light of the 15 prisoners on ‘death fast’ in Turkish prison and Imam’s condition we need to escalate our actions. Now we are targeting Turkey economically with this campaign for TUI to boycott holidays in Turkey. We are going to persist until the Committee for the Prevention of Torture reopens its investigation [into the imprisonment of Öcalan] or the Turkish government allows Öcalan visits from his family and his lawyers.
We are asking people to boycott holidays in Turkey so that they are not supporting the Turkish regime which oppresses the Kurds, locks up journalists and commits atrocities against civilians.
Today’s protests mark a new departure for the Boycott Turkey campaign. And a new level of cooperation by activists around the country. The condition of the hunger strikers is critical. It is high time that the UK public views holidays in Turkey as just as unacceptable as a vacation in Israel.
Featured image and all other images via a press release from Kurdish Solidarity Cymru.
- Learn more about the global call for action against the Turkish state’s oppression of Kurdish people.
- Contact your MP and MEP to draw attention to the hunger strikers and the isolation of Öcalan. Ask them to persuade the British government to pressure the CPT to visit Öcalan. Send them this article by Kurdish hunger striker Imam Sis.
- Get involved with your local Kurdistan Solidarity group. If you are in Wales, get in touch with Kurdish Solidarity Cymru.
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