“1 Mayis – May 1” Discussions in Turkey
According to Cemil Cicek, promulgation of May 1 as a public day would cost Turkey 2bliion YTL’s and therefore is not on the agenda. However, the AKP government proudly decides that May 1 will be celebrated as “labour and Solidarity Day”, whereas PM Erdogan openly humiliates the workers’ demands to celebrate May 1 as a public day in the historical meeting point namely the “Taksim Square” by saying: ““Chaos is created in a place where the foot governs the head,” (1). This shows one importance aspect of the AKP that of sudden eruptions of ignorance. Furthermore, it also illustrates AKP’s selective bazaar mentality concerning the adoption of the EU Standards in Turkey. When it comes to closure of the Political Parties, the AKP is a proud follower of the “Venice Criteria”, although they did not move any finger about the DTP closure. When it comes to save the day, AKP believes in Europe, when it comes to reach consensus with domestic actors and elevate the country to the EU standards, the AKP is ignorant.
In face of these latest attacks and ignorance, the trade unions and the workers feel themselves completely alienated from the government. Remembering the “Tuzla Harbour Incidents” where many workers died due to the lack of workers security precautions, we can clearly see that the AKP is allergic towards the workers’ rights. KESK, DİSK and Türk-İş, Turkey’s largest trade unions, following Erdogan’s highly provocative statements decided to celebrate May 1 in Taksim and not to step back. Lately, the AKP also declared that Erdogan’s statements were exagerrated and he did not say in his speech the “footsoldiers” but “foots”… (1)
I mean all these reminds me the “newspeak” and the paperwork done in the Ministry of Truth, recalling the genius of Orwell’s 1984. Changing the name of the May 1, refusing critics on Erdogan’s speech and re-writing his ideas with other tones. The only thing is we wont be able to see a peaceful May 1 demonstration in Taksim, which clearly shows the government’s attitude on the issue of labourers.
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