* Transcripted from the speech of the deputy Mr. Gergerlioğlu at the opening of the Eskişehir KHK Platform. (July 7, 2019)
The case we all know about. Hundreds of thousands of people. Gradually. One night 50,000 people, one night 10,000 people, one night 20,000 people were dismissed. Almost the victims were thrown before the lions in the arenas. Not only has been dismissed from state office; hasn’t been employed in the private sector. They can’t participate in the states’s work and course programs. They can’t make transactions in banks. They can’t open an account. They can’t get credit. They go to the deed, can’t sell goods. There’s already a lot of people confiscated their property. They can’t even witness the deed. Because listed in decree, they can’t get help from social welfare. They can’t even get nursing money because of relatives listed in decree. We’ve always known thousands of examples like this.
We could see this happening to them more. But in our second year reports, we began to see that what happened to the decree people, what happened to the victims of state emergency, in fact, was the calamities that happened to all of Turkey. All of Turkey is affected by this. Society is affected. The economy, sociology, science and all their understanding of society are affected. It was beginning to cause a social breakdown. The damages of state emergency were not, as everyone thought, found the individual Ahmet, Mehmet, and Hasan. It had reached to a point where the whole community was rotten. We already see the consequences of this. There’s a lot of trouble in society right now.
Not only the decree people commit suicide, anymore. There are suicides in every part of society. The economy is a disaster. Yesterday, those who found the decrees necessary for a number of reasons, began to see what was what, when it came on their own. We see KHK platforms as the salvation of Turkey.
There are many different segments and important polarization in Turkey. We all know it well. There are very important polarization, and there is an understanding that feeds polarization. Everyone has this polarization. Everyone has a prejudice, a hatred climate, a sense of exclusion, a sense of otherization. We all have to accept that. We all have to know that this society won’t go that way. The decrees will actually be an occasion and will ensure the salvation of society. We’re troubled, but there’s no such thing as others aren’t. There are diseases all over society.
Diseases of society cannot be solved by selfishness, by othering others. We must address problems of the others and embrace all human rights together. We need to see this very clearly. I’ve seen it with many examples. Police friends, ex-soldiers personally gave me self-criticism. I know a lot of cops, soldiers who say they understand the people today that they othered yesterday. When it happens, people understand things very well. “What is a social exclusion?” then it seems very well understood.
What we need to do now is to explain human rights to society through this platform work. I see we’ve come to a point in terms of human rights. The decree people are particularly making these self-criticism. I’m travelling all over Turkey, so I’m saying it with ease. In Turkey, the most deserving and capable of creating a new human rights movement are those who are dismissed with the decrees. We have a lot of human rights associations, but most of them are static. The important thing is to make them dynamic. And with these 3.5 years of life practice, the decree people have acquired very important experience. That they should not otherize what they did yesterday; their understanding of human rights, democracy, equality, demand for justice; not abuse the weak when dominated; They saw very close how sacred the right of fair judgment and life is; how important freedom of expression, religion and conscience are. Because they’ve had a lot of experience in their lives.
Nearly 20 cities, now have KHK platforms. They’re doing good work. And they are doing tough against the wrongdoers. It’s been at least a year. KHK platforms are doing important job. Today’s important media-social media, is also held twice a week for hashtag posting. It’s a great force to join each province. Like the dispersed grains of the rosary, there were hundreds of thousands on all around. Now those grains come side by side and form a rosary. It creates a human rights perspective and very good job are done. We’ve seen it and we continue to see it.
If I were desperate, I wouldn’t have worked hard for 3.5 years. Because I always thought there is hope, I tried to do everything I could. Time justified me. We talk and mobilize communities in many cities. There’ll be more than that, I hope. Don’t be hopeless. These dark days will pass. But with our efforts. It will not descend from the sky. Whatever we win, we win with our own efforts. The famous saying is, “The right is not given, it is taken.”
We have one big advantage. We’re a group of 98.7 percent of whom have at least university graduates; including master’s degrees or associate professors, professors. This is awesome. No group of victims in Turkey is such an educated group. There is no group with that much intellectual background. This group has to do a lot of things. Even what’s happening right now is very limited. We really need to make a very clear self-criticism.
You’re not just a group, you’re a chosen, highly qualified group with knowledge, experience, intellectual accumulation.