Monday 17 June 2013

Tell tear-gas manufacturers to stop arming Erdogan's police

Erdogan's violent repression of his opponents has already seen five people die in the last three weeks, with many thousands injured, including at least fifteen demonstrators losing eyes.

Many of these injuries have come from the Turkish Police's indiscriminate firing of tear gas cannisters like this one in Ankara:


The South Korean distributor CNO Tech (, has left its calling card stuck to its weaponry. So now the world can ring CNO to tell them what we think.

E-mail and demand that they stop the trade in CS gas to Erdogan's police.

The manufacturer of the DK-N500 grenade may in fact be Dae Kwang Chemical Company Limited, since its website boasts that it is "the only manufacturer of teargas products in Korea"

As it explains on, “Tear gas works by irritating mucous membranes in the eyes, nose, mouth and lungs, and causes crying, sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, pain in the eyes, temporary blindness, etc. Lachrymators are thought to act by attacking sulphydryl functional groups in enzymes”.

Dae Kwang’s website suggests that it trades with United States / United Kingdom / Germany / France / Monaco / Turkey / Syria / Saudi Arabia / Iran / Bahrain / Dubai / Oman / Liberia / Ghana / Nigeria.

So is Dae Kwang supplying Erdogan’s police as well? Why not ask to make sure? The website suggests that Dae Kwang can also be contacted on:

UPDATE: Here is the letter that I have sent:

To the Managing Director
Dae Kwang Chemical Company
South Korea

Dear Sir or Madam

I am writing as a National Executive member of the National Union of Teachers in London, UK, the largest teaching union in Europe.

This weekend, at the invitation of Turkish trade unionists, I had the chance to visit Istanbul to discuss with trade union leaders. I was given shocking reports of deaths and injuries, including skull fractures and permanent loss of eyes, caused by the Turkish Police's firing of CS gas directly at citizens as well as by firing it into confined spaces. In case I needed further evidence, I then witnessed for myself, in the streets around our Hotel, the brutal behaviour of the police and the use of CS gas that trade unionists had described to me.

I see from your website that you describe yourselves as "the only manufacturer of teargas products in Korea" and that you state that you trade with Turkey. I should therefore alert you that I have photographic evidence of DK-N500 canisters that have been picked up in the streets of Ankara and other cities. I therefore need to warn you that, should these products, traded through CNO Tech, have been manufactured by the Dae Kwang Chemical Company, trade unionists believe that you will carry a moral and, potentially, legal responsibility for the deaths and injuries that have been sustained.

I would be for grateful for an urgent response to this complaint and assurance that you will be acting on this evidence to make sure that your equipment is not used in this way, preferably by ceasing any further trade with Turkey.

Martin Powell-Davies
Member of the NUT National Executive, UK

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