We would like to respectfully present to the public the text of the press statement we wanted to organize in front of the (Istanbul) Kadıköy branch of the Turkish Red Crescent last night, but we were faced with a police blockade and attacked violently on the streets. While our members were brutally beaten by the police, our Istanbul HQs, which is also functioning as a Disaster Coordination Center, was under police blockade. As we tried to hold our press statement for the second time in front of our party building, we were again attacked by the police once again. Many of our friends and party members were detained in this attack. After our building was blockaded, we saw many ordinary citizens reacting to the police. More than 100 members of our party executives, members and volunteers were detained. Our friends who were beaten and detained were released in the morning.
Dear members of the press, dear citizens,
We are organizing this press statement as Workers’ Party of Turkey members in front of the (Istanbul) Kadıköy branch of the Turkish Red Crescent. We are holding this press conference with feelings of both anger and shame. We are really angry, really ashamed!
We are angry because this institution, which has been the largest humanitarian aid organization in Turkey for 155 years, has turned into a simple reflection of the AKP’s 20-year disgraceful order.
We are ashamed because while people whose houses were destroyed in the earthquake disaster 20 days ago are still waiting for tents, this organization is selling the tents it has in stock to associations in exchange for money. The head of this institution says that he finds this situation “moral, rational and legal”. None of those in charge of the organization even think about resigning. In the face of this shamelessness, we are ashamed instead of them.
We ask: If the earthquake taxes collected for years have been spent on precautions, why does the Turkish Red Crescent feel the need to sell earthquake tents?
We ask: You say that you are providing supplies and tents to the earthquake zone again with the revenues from the tents, so why didn’t you send these tents directly to the region to heal the wounds of our people?
We ask: While the Workers’ Party of Turkey supplied the tents sent to the earthquake zone for between eight and ten thousand liras each (approx. 500 euros), how many liras per tent did the Turkish Red Crescent sell to AHBAP, a civil society organization, on the second day of the earthquake? Why did thousands of tents remain in stock?
We actually know the answers to these questions. Institutions such as the Turkish Red Crescent have also taken their share from the decay created by the AKP, and the issue of kinship and cronyism has taken precedence over the issue of the country. In this system, the Turkish Red Crescent aims to make a profit from earthquake victims’ tents, stock market profits are realized during earthquakes, while people die of cold and hunger under the rubble or while waiting for tents. In this regime where one man is responsible for everything, that man is not responsible for any of what we are experiencing. In the Palace Regime, there are crimes but no criminals.
We, as the Workers’ Party of Turkey, give our word here once again: We will hunt down those who seek profit and rent in the earthquake, we will not let them off the hook! We demand the immediate resignation of the Turkish Red Crescent President Kerem Kınık and those who have turned the Turkish Red Crescent into a cradle of scandal.
We will deal with those who inflicted a real disaster on the people after the earthquake and left tens of thousands of our lives to die. We will heal the wounds of this disaster together on the path we are walking by relying on the strength, stubbornness and solidarity of our people.
We will not leave our people alone and helpless against the Disaster of the Century, the Palace Regime.
WORKERS’ PARTY OF TURKEY