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Journalists gather outside BBC in support of the corporation's striking workers in Istanbul

JOURNALISTS, academics and artists gathered outside the BBC’s London HQ today in support of the corporation’s workers in Istanbul who are taking strike action against poor wages.

Workers at BBC Turkey have taken industrial action after they failed to reach an agreement on pay.

Wages have been hit by rampant inflation in the country, which rose by 36 per cent in 2021, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute.

But independent economists put the figure as high as 82 per cent.

Following six months of talks, the BBC gave the workers a final offer of 20 per cent increase in pay — which the workers said was not sufficient to make ends meet.

BBC Turkey workers called for support and solidarity from their colleagues in Britain and members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).

In a statement, read out by Morning Star reporter Ceren Sagir, the group of Britain-based journalists said: “It is very important that the workers in Istanbul at BBC Turkey are given their fundamental human rights.”

Addressing the BBC, the statement added: “It is the role of journalists to provide unbiased and impartial news.

“And it is your job to ensure that their hard work — made already difficult in a country like Turkey — is rewarded fairly.

“We urge you to fulfil the demands of BBC workers in Istanbul by providing them with the wages that are in line with the rising levels of inflation to ensure that they are able to make ends meet.”

NUJ assistant general secretary Seamus Dooley said that the union was sending its “full solidarity and support to the workers.”

He called on the BBC to make a “realistic offer” which “recognises the dire situation in Turkey at this time.”


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