EMEP: Declaration On Economic Crisis In Turkey

YEP is the proof of a plan to make the public pay for the crisis

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and many government representatives of Turkey, deny the
crisis triggered by the drop in the value of Turkish Lira as “foreign manipulation”, saying “there is
no crisis, there is psychological problems”.

But the mid-term New Economic Plan (YEP) announced by the Minister of Treasury Berat
Albayrak, is an admission of a rapid deterioration into a crisis.

Regardless of AKP attempts to define it, the dependent capitalist system and policies pursued
by its staunch defender, the Erdoğan administration, are the cause of this crisis. Since taking
power, Erdoğan’s focus has only been interests of himself and the capitalists behind him,
working to enhance their gains. He is now trying to minimise his losses through this period; even
trying to turn it into an advantage for himself. The YEP is the product of such an attempt.

YEP, planned to span the next three years, predicts a smaller economy; a drop in industrial
production; ever higher current account deficit; higher inflation and unemployment. This
programme is a clear announcement of the beginning of a crisis, ‘heralding’ the hardship
awaiting public in the coming months.

The roadmap for the economy in general, and public finances and employment in particular,
summarises how the working classes will be made to pay for the crisis.

YEP creates new opportunities for monopolies and unemployment and poverty for the
people

With this economic programme, turning the crisis into an opportunity, the gifts for the capitalist
classes include; incentives, removal of redundancy pay, widespread flexible and part-time work,
freezing of wages, reduction in social spending. Working classes will be stripped of their
historical gains. YEP means the BES cuts – introduced as ‘individual retirement insurance’ but in
essence another way of squeezing money out of the public – becoming established or the two
month withdrawal period be extended until the end of the programme.

The public is told to accept this fraud and impoverishment; put up with it in the name of the
survival of the country and the state. But, claiming that “austerity does not apply to prestige”
they are building themselves palaces, purchasing luxury planes; not bothered at all by servicing
their luxurious lifestyle by the public purse, at a time where suicides due to poverty and
unemployment are on the rise.

Austerity is a sacrifice demanded only from workers. The public must adhere to this austerity;
without any complaints about the high cost of education and healthcare, marketisation of public
services, unemployment or lack of job security. Otherwise, the example of third airport workers-
prosecuted for complaints on working conditions – should be a lesson; regardless of the level of
oppression they suffer, they must be convinced that their complaint is a result of their own
psychological problems!

The most striking recommendations of YEP to reduce the current accounts deficit, are the
development of health tourism and an increase in the consumption of national products, linking
it to the ‘national unity project’. Turning provision of health into a commodity led to health being
the victim of economic interest; government guarantee of patients for hospitals built under
public-private partnerships.

On the other hand, in terms of agricultural output, the country has been turned into a desert
under the 16-yer rule of AKP; all grains, fruit and veg, and even hay is imported. There is no
domestic product to be consumed.

Sackings already started due to crisis; workers are sentenced to poverty wages, with the threat
of unemployment if their factories are shut; unpaid and forced holidays are on the increase; the
abortion of collective bargaining agreements is on the agenda. Prices already burning holes in
pockets; new price rises and direct/indirect taxes are on their way. Wages and rights of the
workers are not the cause of this crisis; they have been well-pruned in the last 16 years.The
debt that the government promised to pay the monopolies is not the debt of the 81 million, as
stated by Necdet Takva, the TOBB (The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of
Turkey) Council Leader. Hence, this debt cannot be paid by the public; those that created this
debt should be paying it.

The fitting response to the call for sacrifice – targeting few pennies left in the pockets of the
workers – came from workers in Makel, Mercedes, the third airport, Cargill and Tüpraş. We are
in no doubt that responses of this nature will increase. Crisis are periods where opportunity for
coordinated struggle for the workers increase; workers can regain losses through such a
struggle.

In this context, wages eroded by price rises and exchange rate manipulations should be
increased; minimum wage should be determined with poverty levels in mind; basic commodity
prices should be frozen; unlawful sackings should be banned; workers wages should be paid
first in businesses that close down or go bankrupt. Meeting of these demands is compulsory to
redress the losses and to establish minimum welfare. Workers will not give up on these
demands. Policies that threaten their living and working conditions can only be defeated by a
united struggle. Our party will work for this struggle to grow and strengthen.

SELMA GÜRKAN
Chairwoman

web page in english: www.emep.org/eng
mail: international@emep.org



Categories: International, Turkey

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