E?itim Sen General Secretary Sakine Esen Y?lmaz
E?itim Sen General Secretary Sakine Esen Y?lmaz

Documentary shows Turkish teachers' plight

published 4 April 2017 updated 15 May 2017

A new documentary film about the fate of Sakine Yilmaz, former general secretary of Egitim Sen, and her life as a refugee in Germany sheds light on the oppression and persecution of tens of thousands of teachers in Turkey.

Sakine Yilmaz, former head of Egitim Sen, Education International’s (EI) affiliate in Turkey, had to flee her country hidden in a truck headed to Germany. It was the end of 2016, and the grip on her freedom had become so tight that she feared spending many years in prison for her political activities. Now she lives in Cologne as an asylum seeker and is touring the country with the help of the local education unions in order to bring her story closer to German society and the media – increasingly gaining support for her cause.

Sakine’s story and other insights into the repression of tens of thousands of teachers under the Erdogan regime make up EI’s latest audio-visual production: a short documentary film whose aim is to raise awareness about the breach in human and trade union rights in Turkey. It also shows the various expressions of solidarity that the international teaching community is having towards its purged colleagues.

Watch the video, co-produced by EI and its German affiliate Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft (GEW), below.