Anti-IMF protests in Turkey
Hundreds of thousands of workers and labourers organised protest meetings across the country against the IMF policies that have caused economic crises and collapse in the monetary system. The protesters demanded the implementation of a program presented by trade union leaders and independent scientists which demands an independent economy. It is estimated that 500,000 people took part in the protest actions. In the largest city, Istanbul, 50,000 workers and labourers gathered; in Izmir — 40,000. Demonstrations were banned in the capital Ankara and in 19 provinces. Nevertheless, undeterred by the ban and bad weather about 1000 protestors gathered in Ankara; in "banned" provinces protest actions went ahead as well. "IMF go home", "Government resign" were the popular slogans. People demanded that the government resign; privatisations be stopped; the plan of "zero rise" in salaries be cancelled and living standards improved. Another demand voiced in some of the Kurdish provinces was the abolition of the martial law in the region. In Istanbul 500 journalists — mostly unemployed — joined the demonstrations. At present, most labour organisations agree that the only way to stop the government is a general strike. This was the most frequently chanted slogan in the demonstrations. The approaching May Day will be another day of protest for the working class and labourers.