Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday celebrated May Day in a message issued one day ahead of World Labor Day.
In his message, Erdogan hailed all workers and laborers and their important role in Turkey’s growth and development.
“We are representatives of a civilization that says ‘Pay the wage of a laborer before his sweat dries’,” he said, citing a saying of the Prophet Muhammad.
Mentioning the Justice and Development (AK) Party government’s 15 years of efforts to uphold and reinforce workers’ rights, Erdogan vowed to continue to facilitate solving all remaining problems to the best of their ability.
“With no preconditions or prejudices, we have come together with all labor unions and civil society organizations whose real agenda is workers’ rights and benefits; we have had discussions and reached agreements. We have taken care not to be one of those who instrumentalize workers and laborers, on such a meaningful day as May 1,” he said.
Erdogan stressed that his government has done everything within its power to enable every member of the nation to benefit from the “added value” generated as Turkey has grown richer, adding that they would continue these efforts.
“We will continue to support every sincere effort to protect our workers’ rights, and will continue to walk arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder with our worker and laborer sisters and brothers till the end.”
Erdogan also stressed that the government has introduced a large number of programs to bring down unemployment, adding that Turkey can become richer only when its workers become richer too.
“All workers and laborers of this country are our workers and laborers. May Day, which we declared a national holiday, is also our festival of labor.”
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim also praised Turkey’s “industrious” spirit on May Day.
"We will continue to step forward to eliminate the obstacles in industrial relationships with the contributions of our members and civil society organizations," he said.