CUPE 4600 member, Cihan Erdal was arrested on September 25th by Turkish police on unspecified charges related to social unrest in 2014. Erdal is one of 82 people issued arrest warrants in relation to alleged incitement of protests in 2014 which were violently repressed by Turkish police. These arrests are part of a broader effort by the Erdogan government in Turkey to repress the left-wing People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and other labour and social justice activists. The Turkish government alleges with little evidence the HDP has ties to terrorist organizations, and frequently uses the guise of national security to repress popular movements for labour, women, LGBT, and minority rights.

While Erdal was an active member of the HDP in 2014, he has not been involved in Turkish politics for several years since coming to Canada to pursue his studies. He was visiting his family and awaiting ethics approval to conduct in-person interviews in Turkey related to his dissertation.

Erdal has been an active member of CUPE local 4600 and the Carleton community. When Erdal first began studying at Carleton, CUPE 4600 assisted him in securing his priority TA-ship and defending his priority status from attempts by administration to revoke it.

We call for the release of Erdal and the other unjustly detained individuals. Erdal is a Canadian permanent resident and we demand that Canadian consular services do everything possible to assist in his release.

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