“As the issue of reconciliation is directly linked with social peace and justice, it’s also key to ending the economic crisis,” writes Selahattin Demirtaş* for T24.
The ongoing economic crisis has had a heavy toll on the people, made it difficult for everyone to breathe. Millions of people worry if they will be able to find anything to eat tomorrow. They are simply trying to get through the day with fears and anxiety.
The only way of avoiding further crisis are elections and a majority of people are waiting for the opportunity to go to the ballot box. The rulers will continue to lose support as long as they run away from an election, and who knows, maybe the Justice and Development Party will even have a threshold** problem by 2023. What matters is not what will happen to it, though; that is clear now. The real question is whether Turkey will be able to withstand this crisis for another one and a half years. It is quite evident that it will suffer a collapse that will be difficult to recover from. So it’s the prior duty of both the political and social opposition to make explicit public demands for an election.
In the meantime there is a discussion going on, centred around reconciliation, public confrontation and reckoning. Although some people say this is an unnecessary discussion which helps cover up the economic crisis, I think otherwise. First, nothing can cover up people’s hunger. If one is hungry, nothing can take this off the agenda while his hunger is unsatisfied. In other words, the major issues on the agenda of the people will continue to be poverty, unemployment and inflated prices. The opposition makes it clear at every turn that it’s aware of this fact and is acting accordingly.
On the other hand, it’s equally important to come forward with a solid vision and plan responding to people’s problems. Since it’s not possible to end the economic crisis with a magical wand nor only in the sphere of economics, everyone should present projects that will earn the people’s confidence. The recent declaration by the People’s Democratic Party, for instance, has been shaped and announced with such an understanding. I tend to treat the discussion concerning a reconciliation in the same manner. Namely, it’s a hint at how the problems will be resolved. It’s an important declaration of intention.
We must hold discussions bearing in mind that all problems are interrelated. As the issue of reconciliation is directly linked with social peace and justice, it’s also key to ending the economic crisis. I must here note that the discussion on reconciliation is quite new; it’ll stay on the agenda for a long time, especially after the elections. The impact of this issue on the people recently manifests itself in the heated discussion that are taking place, and this shows that the people do have a certain expectation and a fair demand.
It’s beneficial to carry on with this discussion for the issue to reach a certain maturity and evolve into a process of official and systematic confrontation in the future. One should also patiently listen to and note all criticisms and suggestions made in good faith. There are tens of millions of people living on these lands with deep wounds, and all, for a good reason, expect, want their wounds to be recognised. One should respect and recognise every one of them equally and without discrimination.
“Maximum caution is required so as not to hurt anyone, not to open wounds and causing other wounds while discussing reconciliation. The process will perhaps take a couple of years and lead to the establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission in the parliament. Historically, it’s really important that such discussions have begun.” So it is our collective responsibility to support the discussions and help build content in this regard.
There are also those who are annoyed by these discussions. The political administration, for instance, is making a fuss as if it’s deprived of one of its toys. Similarly, some circles who have been enjoying the fruits of the republic for a hundred years, who have never been even slightly wounded, are protesting.
And there are those ‘lovers of sufferings’ who’ve built up their artificial identities on the wounds and sufferings of others. Those do not want the sufferings to end either. They’re trolling and yelling out on social media.
It’s important to leave all these beside, take all mature and productive criticism into consideration, and continue with discussions on reconciliation. We ought to handle these issues bravely and frankly for the sake of our collective future, for a life of equality and freedom and for peace and welfare.
Greetings with love…
* Selahattin Demirtaş, ex co leader of the HDP has been imprisoned since November 2016 while a ruling by the European Court of Humans Rights calling for his immediate release has been denied by the Turkish judiciary.
** Turkish elections require parties to pass a 10% threshold of the national vote.