The Guardian April 25, 2001


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.

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