Unite the union is deeply shocked and saddened to hear of the assassination of Abdullah Karacan, general president of Turkey’s DİSK/Lastik-İş (Rubber and Chemical Workers’ Union) and the attempt on the life of regional president of Lastik-İş Mustafa Sipahi and shop steward Osman Bayraktar, while visiting union members at a Goodyear factory in the city of Adapazarı in Turkey.

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “Unite sends its sincere condolences to Abdullah’s family and to the members of Lastik-İş and confederation DISK, as well as the whole trade union movement in Turkey.

“A committed internationalist, Abdullah Karacan visited the UK in 2015 in support of Unite members in Goodyear who were fighting against closure in Birmingham. We have lost a good friend and comrade.

“Sadly the situation facing trade unionists in Turkey is increasingly becoming more dangerous. The government of president Erdogan targets all those who stand up for their communities, their beliefs, human and workers’ rights and anyone who opposes the slide into authoritarian dictatorship that clearly is taking place in Turkey. Unite will continue to stand in solidarity with all the progressive forces in Turkey.

“Unite joins with the IndustriALL global union federation in calling for a thorough investigation into this heinous crime.”


For more information please contact Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869 

Notes to editors:

  • Unite represents workers in Britain and Ireland with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.