EMEP: People are waiting for help and solidarity, Erdoğan declares state of emergency!

via Evrensel Daily.

Criticizing President Tayyip Erdoğan’s decision to declare a state of emergency in 10 provinces devastated by earthquakes, EMEP said, “The people’s need is not a state of emergency but the organization of emergency aid and solidarity.”

In the statement made by the Labour Party of Turkey (EMEP) calling for the withdrawal of the state of emergency decree, the following statements were made:

“Unfortunately, the most critical hours of the earthquake for people struggling to survive under the rubble were wasted. In freezing cold conditions, lives were extinguished due to hypothermia and frost. The call of ‘Is anyone there?’ synonymous with the search and rescue teams during Gölcük earthquake to reach the survivors has this time round turned into a gigantic scream from under the mountains of rubble. Following those critical hours, the voices of our people under the rubble are almost no longer heard.

We wish the statements of, ‘We have reached everywhere, we have control over the situation,’ by the government spokespersons reflected the truth. The information coming from the region, the data reaching our party, the screams of despair of people in the news tell a different story. While the public is trying to dig up debris with their bare hands, construction equipment, search and rescue teams, planes and helicopters still have not reached most of the collapsed sites. The survivors, on the other hand, do not have access to food, temporary shelters, tents, heaters, clean water, healthcare or even basic necessities.

While the situation is such, declaration of a three-months state of emergency in the 10 provinces by AKP (Justice and Development Party) and President Erdoğan shows how alienated the government is from the people and how afraid they are of the public reaction. The state of emergency is declared so that the public reaction to the government is not visible and the facts of the earthquake are not displayed in front of the public any more. The state of emergency declared in the 10 provinces struck by the earthquakes is a state of emergency declared also on the whole country. It seems that the one-man administration receives the earthquake as a ‘blessing’ and wants to go to the elections under a state of emergency.

The government, which failed to act and fulfill the minimum requirements in saving lives, failed to deliver the taxes collected for the earthquake, and failed in mobilizing all the means of the state for the people, again showed an ‘extraordinary’ reflex in enacting policies of oppression and intimidation with this State of Emergency.

State of emergency means the prohibition of strikes, restriction of freedom of speech, the press and expression. It also means a ban on TV and radio broadcasts denying public the right to receive information. The state of emergency means putting yet another obstacle in the way of public solidarity in disaster areas that the state cannot reach. This decision also means suppressing the poor people’s demands for work, bread and freedom.

The state of emergency should be withdrawn. Earthquake survivors do not need a state of emergency, but the organization of emergency aid and solidarity. It is unacceptable to declare a state of emergency against the public, when instead of going after contractors and holding public officials accountable for their mismanagement, in the face of these negligent and rentier policies, which cost the lives of thousands and injured hundreds of thousands of people.

We call on all forces of labor, democracy and citizens to increase solidarity with earthquake zones and to raise demands for democracy and freedom against anti-democratic practices.”

If you would like to help in this time of crisis, all donations and sales proceeds from the American Party of Labor through February 14th will be donated to EMEP for their earthquake relief efforts in Turkey.

Categories: International, Turkey

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