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Beat Fear, Avoid Artificial Polarisations!

Unite for Our Rights!

Workers are strong when they get united and beat their fears. Bosses cannot easily dismiss workers united! Workers united, having beaten their fears, will not yield to price hikes, high cost of living, low wages and compulsory overtime work! But when they fear and cannot unite they inevitably surrender.

All workers are afraid of being unemployed, of not being able to pay the rent and the bills, of not being able to feed their children. To fear is human, but human beings learned how to overcome their fears. Human beings beat their fear and eliminate the threat which causes the fear when they get united and gather their forces together. So we the workers must come together as well. Workers are strong when they get united and beat their fears. Bosses cannot easily dismiss workers united! Workers united, having beaten their fears, will not yield to price hikes, high cost of living, low wages and compulsory overtime work! But when they fear and cannot unite they inevitably surrender. Fear holds people captive, force them to yield to injustices. Now let’s ask: Why can’t we unite? Are not workers’ interests common?

Fear is a barrier to workers getting united and strong. But dividing workers artificially is also a barrier and the two complement each other. Attacks against workers’ rights are in full swing. But the artificial division and polarisation conceal the growing problems of workers. First it was the CHP (Republican People’s Party) and the generals who polarised society for their own interests. The CHP and the Kemalist military-civil bureaucracy insulted religious sections of society by touting in a discourse that secularism and the republic are under threat. Now it is the AKP government who polarises society. AKP managed to achieve majority by claiming they were victims and that they defended democracy. Eventually AKP seized complete control of the state especially after 2007. Therefore they cannot say “I am the victim, I am not allowed to rule” anymore. So they seek to escalate polarisation within society as much as possible. Prime-minister Erdogan who formerly spoke of democracy now uses an authoritarian and domineering language. He insults people who demand their democratic rights and even calls them “terrorist.” He does not hesitate to exploit religious values and nationalism.

Bourgeois politicians constantly produce false tensions and seek to manipulate the working masses through these tensions. This causes workers to see the developments from AKP’s or CHP’s standpoint, but not from their own standpoint, i.e. on the basis of their own class interests. Thus those workers who voted AKP are pushed to own everything AKP does and other workers who voted CHP do the same thing for CHP. For instance AKP government increased the price of natural gas by 30 percent, an incredible increase, between April and October. Workers and toilers are the ones who suffer from such price hikes or tax rises. But due to the polarization those workers who voted AKP can defend AKP against other workers who criticise these price hikes. Without questioning, they can justify all policies of AKP and its attacks against workers rights. Or, reversely, other workers who voted CHP can easily own CHP’s discourse. Now let’s ask: Who benefits this situation? Is there any interest of workers from this polarisation?

Turkish people and workers have no interest in oppressing the Kurdish people. As all examples show the oppressed peoples demanding their democratic rights eventually achieve their freedom. And Kurdish question will be resolved sooner or later. Now the question is: why do so many young people keep dying?

Another issue which causes polarization is the Kurdish question which awaits solution. Turkish and Kurdish toilers’ children keep on dying as the Kurdish question which has become a Middle East question has not been resolved. Bodies keep coming day in and day out and families of both sides are in great agony. While the families are in agony and society is in grief MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) and AKP are busy stepping up nationalism by exploiting the situation. They compete with each other along the road of nationalism. What they are trying to do is vote-hunting through inciting nationalism. Yet, Turkish people and workers have no interest in oppressing the Kurdish people. As all examples show the oppressed peoples demanding their democratic rights eventually achieve their freedom. And Kurdish question will be resolved sooner or later. Now the question is: why do so many young people keep dying? An unsolved Kurdish question does harm to the unity of workers. Due to nationalist incitements Turkish workers may regard Kurdish workers whom they work with as enemy. And who benefits this situation? Of course the bosses! Can workers who have no confidence in their class brothers and sisters unite against lower wages, long working hours and ignorance of work safety precautions? Those workers who do not trust each other are bound to remain alone and tend to fear and bow down before the bosses.

Our class brothers and sisters should realize this fact: AKP, CHP, MHP and so on, all serve the bosses. All of them basically serve bosses’ interests when they are in power. Today AKP is in power, tomorrow CHP or MHP may come to power. We have to look from the standpoint of our class ranks and defend our own class interests. Yesterday various system parties were in power and they were also attacking workers’ rights. For the last ten years AKP has been in power and attacking our rights. During these ten years AKP raised retirement age, legalized sub-contracting, and various forms of flexible work eliminating job security. Fighting unions have been inflicted heavy blows. Wages stood still, purchasing power of workers fell, working hours are lengthened. Now abolishment of the severance payment and private worker hiring offices are in the pipeline.

Every month more than 100 workers lose their lives in workplace accidents. And many more workers are crippled, face occupational diseases and become unable to work. Is not it like a war? In the last ten years about 11.000 workers lost their lives in workplace accidents. Do you know that this figure is bigger than the number of soldiers died in the Independence War? And why do fatal work accidents not stop? Because AKP’s policies are essentially based on swelling the profits of bosses. Thus employers feel at ease for not taking necessary precautionary measures on the pretext that occupational safety measures are “costly.” And the AKP government avoids inspecting necessary safety measures and calls those fatalities as “destiny” and preaches the toilers not to seek their rights.

Brothers and sisters! Let’s leave aside our fears and artificial polarisations which divide and blind us. Let's say “stop” to injustices, persecution, our rights being taking away, killing and crippling of workers under the name of “work accidents.”

15 Kasım 2012






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