Canadian Teachers’ Federation president Heather Smith (left) participates in a protest at the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Ottawa on Oct. 5. Speaking into the microphone is Brenda Austin-Smith, vice-president of the Canadian Association of University Teachers, and holding the speaker is Francine Filion, CTF’s director of communications. (Photo: Paul Jones)
OTTAWA — Teachers, educators and professors held a World Teachers’ Day rally across the street from the Embassy of the Republic of Turkey in Ottawa on Oct. 5 to protest the suspension of more than 28,000 teacher colleagues and tens of thousands of other public- sector workers since the failed coup this summer.
The rally was organized by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) and the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT) in response to the global call for action issued by Education International (EI), the body representing over 32 million educators from around the world.
Organizers hope to meet with the ambassador to present him with a formal letter signed by the unions and organizations representing over half a million Canadian educators. The letter, addressed to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan, urges him to abide by international conventions to which his country is a signatory and to reinstate the tens of thousands of educators and public sector workers who were dismissed since the failed coup on July 15.
The latest figures provided by EĞITIM SEN, the EI Affiliate in Turkey, show the unprecedented scale of this repressive campaign.
- In July, as many as 28,163 education workers were dismissed.
- Also in July, a further 112 EĞITIM SEN members and officials were removed from their positions, including 36 academics who had signed a petition demanding peace.
- On Sept. 8, another 11,301 education workers were suspended; 9,843 of them are EĞITIM SEN members. ❚