January 28, 2021
Members of the European Parliament have passed a resolution condemning the Turkish government’s ongoing crackdown on opposition members, calling for the release of all political prisoners–some of whom have been unjustly imprisoned for years–and highlighting the case of Cihan Erdal, jailed member of CUPE 4600 (Local 4600 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees).
Cihan is a queer youth activist, a PhD student and a member of CUPE 4600 at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. On September 25, 2020 he was swept up in a mass arrest of politicians, activists, and academics in Istanbul. He is a Canadian permanent resident, who was in Turkey visiting family and conducting fieldwork for his doctorate. Cihan was indicted, along with more than 100 other prisoners, in early January. The charges are based on two social media posts that Cihan shared six years ago, from People’s Democratic Party of Turkey, the third largest political party in the country. His first court appearance is not until April 26.