Estimable Members of Party Committee,
People's Democracy Party
Opening Speech of Chairman Ahmet Turan DEMiR in 4th Annual Congress Of HADEP
Estimable Members of Political Parties,
Dear Members of Press,
My dear friends from HADEP who have shouldered our party under hardest circumstances since its foundation and have proven how sincere and resistant they are in the struggle for democracy, freedom and peace shielding their bodies against any difficulty and oppression.
I greet you all respectfully. I would like to say welcome to all of you most sincerely for honouring our Congress with your presence.
We have entered the 21st century with the great heritage of the experiences of humanity. The historical heritage that we have taken over is the struggle for equality, freedom, justice and peace by all the oppressed against unjust wars and those sovereign.
Great revolutions have taken place under the guidance of the principles of equality, freedom, justice and peace. But unfortunately the systems, which were founded with great ideals, are obstructed because that they have not been able to provide the necessary transformation in themselves.
Equality, freedom, justice and peace still continue to be the basic aspirations of humanity.
HADEP, which is a composition of these aspirations; aims at a democratic socialism which gives priority to human, which is in harmony with the environment and where women are represented with their differences.
Our aim is a democratic system, which provides to all sections of the society the most expansive participation freely and not centralised authoritarian governance acting on behalf of a small class. Twenty first century will be the age of the contemporary and democratic civilisation. We will play our role as HADEP to this direction.
A level of productivity and technological development, which can meet the needs of all humanity, has been attained. But despite that, the inequality between the countries, classes and genders has been deepening, contrary to the expectations. One fifth of the world population is living below the poverty line, the increasing unemployment has become a problem of the whole world and the number of unemployed people in the Third World Countries has reached one billion.
Despite that, we are not pessimistic or hopeless.
Comprehension of the process, which is described by concepts like “one-polar world”, “globalisation” and “new world order” following the post cold war era, is of great importance in this connection.
Together with globalisation, which means uncontrollable capital mobility at international level, income difference between countries and classes has increased and international companies, which dominate the world markets, has gained a tremendous effectiveness.
The situation, which emerged subsequent to the fall of bipolar world order, is going towards multi-polarity where USA is determinant.
Estimable guests and dear friends,
Ignoring this process, which has been developing rapidly and affecting the whole world since 1990s, or roughly refusing it or surrendering, is not realistic and acceptable as regards the values we represent.
This kind of approaches would not help the solution of the problems of peoples, labourers and all the oppressed.
However what is realistic is to put into motion the dynamics which can change the process in favour of the above mentioned sections. Having ideological openings, political creativity and an organisational structure in compliance with the new circumstances is rather important.
It is unavoidable to get reorganised in accordance with the necessities of this age and to appropriate a more democratic manner, which welcomes diversities.
The countries, classes and groups, which are harmed by globalisation, can change the trend of the current world economy, which is in favour of the rich, and can establish a system, which would ensure development and a fair income share, if they can create an international solidarity and an altogether struggle.
On the other hand, the model of nation-state is being surmounted and the constraints on different ethnic and religious identities to express themselves are being eliminated. Human rights are no more domestic issues of states. More important is the fact that a universal law system and international mechanisms to apply it has been established.
The fact that discourses like human rights and democracy have nowadays become current issues in international platforms should not be considered as a game of the “new world order”. It is more practical to transform these demands into concrete demands around which all sections, which need democracy and human rights, can get organised.
It has been experienced along the history that the sovereign groups had made the universal values current issues in order to legitimise their power. But it should not be forgotten that the oppressed people have been able to transform them into concrete achievements against the sovereign groups by defending these values through organised struggles.
The “equality, freedom and brotherhood” slogans of the young bourgeoisie of the French Revolution have concretised with the struggle of all women and labourers in subsequent years.
It is no more the peace of the new world order if it has become a common demand of all humanity nowadays just like democracy and human rights. Changing its results in favour of large sections of the society can be achieved by an organised struggle.
Peaceful solutions to problems are unavoidable under current circumstances. This, however, necessitates a stability based on a democratic solution and economic development. It is for this reason that common talk, dialogues and alliances emerge.
The age of dictatorships is over. Democratisation is an unavoidable process. Countries cannot seize the age without tolerating ethnic, cultural and religious differences and welcoming democratisation, human rights, freedom of thought and belief, and solving problems through dialogue.
Estimable party representatives,
Rapid changes in international politics bring about regional unity. Profitability of regional unities, which ensure regional cooperation and mutual contacts, depends on how much democratic they are.
Strong regional unities based on democratic values are necessary in Middle East. A Middle East, which has created its own unity, would enjoy peace and economic development. The Palestinian and Kurdish problems should be solved immediately on this basis. The door to peace in Middle East would be opened when a solution is found to these two problems on the basis of respect to the will and identities of the peoples in the region. The solution in Palestine is a federative form based on the voluntary unity of Israeli and Palestinian peoples. Jerusalem is a cultural and historical heritage for both peoples and it should not be divided.
In Northern Iraq, however, dependence on foreign countries brings no good for the people of the region and makes harder any possible democratic unity with the neighbouring peoples. The political powers in the region should take the common benefits of the peoples in the region and not their short-term benefits.
My dear friends from HADEP; Estimable guests,
Considering Turkey within this general framework, we face a two-dimensional picture. We see a view, which is not very cheering on the one side and the transformation and democratisation dynamics, which can seize the age, on the other.
Production level in Turkey is lower than the world average. The national income is very low and the word unjust would be insufficient to explain the gravity of this low-income level. The poorest 20 % of population gets a share of lower than 5 % while the richest 20 % gets over 50 % and around 17 million people are living in hunger and below the poverty line according to the DPT (State Planning Organisation) figures.
The profit of big industrial enterprise come from not production but interest, investment has stopped and the infrastructure establishments are collapsing. The cost of bankrupt banks to the state is much higher than US $ 6 billion while the sum of US $ 6 billion necessary for meeting the energy deficit. This money has been vanished by the politician-mafia-businessmen triple before the people's eyes.
The system has hushed up the Susurluk affair and given seats in parliament to the Susurluk suspects.
Mafia leaders are enjoying every comfort in prisons while the political prisoners have even no life safety.
17 % of population in Turkey is illiterate, level of education is very low and every year hounded thousands of youth fail to enter universities and they join the unemployed and hopeless masses.
Living quality has been decreasing every day due to the distorted urbanisation and nature is destroyed for profit making.
Prison problems have become a deadlock and the blind persistence on F Type prisons imposes an inhumane solution.
Turkey cannot show the determination for making necessary regulations in compliance with Copenhagen Criteria and fulfilling its promises to the EU.
No concrete steps have been taken yet about the abolishment of death penalty despite the well-known fact that a country cannot join the EU if death penalty exists in its laws and the 12 September Constitution is still in force.
This is because of the policies of political powers that have been prevailing permanently without any change.
The strictly centralised bureaucratic system has not permitted any of the identities to express themselves other than the Sunni-Muslim and Turkish identity and has tried to annihilate identity differences.
The result of this has been ten thousands of deaths, hundred thousands of wounded people, thousands of murders by unknown perpetrators, thousands of destroyed and evacuated villages, millions of people forced to migrate and the above-mentioned view.
Turkey should not be compelled to this view. We do not deserve this as the people of this country.
The violence prevailing for the last twenty years is said to be the source of all these problems.
However, these problems were there even before then and what has been encountered too is an outcome of wrong policies.
Now, we are at a historical crossroads.
The violence, which was shown as the main obstacle in front of peace and democratisation, is over. PKK has declared that it wants to take part in the democratic order and has moved its armed forces to outside the borders of Turkey. These developments are an important chance for democratisation and development.
Opening the EU door part way, Turkey should utilise this opportunity of these steps taken for peace. Democratic openings should be realised in compliance with universal legal rules particularly for the solution of Kurdish problem. Moreover, it should not take this as a homework asked for by the EU but as a necessity for Turkey to seize the age and just because that the people of this country deserve it. Democratisation should develop with internal dynamics and by its people and the obstacles in front of this should be removed. A lasting democracy can be achieved only by means of organised struggle of labourers and those subject to discrimination for their ethnic identity, religious belief and gender, in other words those who need it.
The understanding that everything is for the state hinders democratic demands and fundamental rights and freedoms, prevents democracy to get established and threatens social peace. Structural obstacles in front of democratisation should be seen.
- With a nature aiming at shaping the whole of society from top to bottom,
- A regime of guardianship, which still dominate the political arena,
- Regulations, which consider thought criminal and punish it,
- A “one nation” understanding, which considers different ethnic groups non-existing,
- Political economy, which do not comply with the understanding of social state,
- Regulations, which subject the labourers to poverty and hunger,
- Incompetent educational system, which is not democratic and scientific and include gender discrimination,
- Centralised bureaucratic structure,
- Unjust system of income distribution and taxing,
- Political form in connection with mafia and gangs, and
- With an attitude of suppressing the democratic opposition by truncheon and force, applying torture as a systematic interrogation method, fearing from people's free will, is there as the main source of problems. Democratisation should be started here. We, as HADEP, emphasise that a transparent and controllable formation is unavoidable.
Democratisation is an urgent problem of our country. The way out of current crisis and problems is more democracy and freedoms.
Our party supports Turkey's entrance to EU. We, at the same, time criticise unsatisfying approach of Europe regarding certain subjects just like the Kurdish problem. Eu should play its effective role in the solution of Kurdish problem. It should help Turkey's efforts for democratisation.
The Accession Partnership Document that was submitted to Turkey on 8 November is incomplete according to us because of not containing the word Kurd and is insufficient for mentioning some urgent subjects like abolishment of death penalty and State of Emergency as issues to be handled in medium-term. But considering as a whole, it is a positive document.
The subjects proposed in the document should be implemented without being spread to a extended time period. Any delaying and hindering attitude would be against Turkey. Forming a democratic political and legal system in compliance with the Copenhagen Criteria as soon as possible would be more profitable for Turkey.
Our suggestion to the present government is to create a consensus based on the support of all political parties and NGOs as regards this vital issue. The historical role that HADEP can play in this transition process should not be ignored.
DEMOCRATIC STATE BASED ON RULE OF LAW
Self-sacrificing labourers of our party,
“Democratisation of state” means, more than anything else, being no more an apparatus of suppression.
Citizens of a democratic state are free and equal despite their all differences. Such a state takes the rule of law as basis. What is basic in a state, which is anti-democratic, is, however, not “forming a state governed by rule of law” but “protecting the state's law”. The basic issue here is not ensuring the freedoms of individuals but protecting the state against individuals.
At first the oligarchic understanding of governance should be given up if democracy is to be chosen. An understanding, which takes the individual as the basis of the state should be dominant.
It is a historical gaining that the rule of sultanate was finished with the beginning of the republic. But it is another fact that the republic, which does not have the necessary democratic basis, evolved towards an oligarchic form. This is the main reason of all troubles we have been suffering. Turkey would have been a very much respected country in the world and its people much happier if the republic could have been united with democracy on an egalitarian and liberal basis.
Turkey has not lost its chance yet. The only thing that Turkey should do today in the accelerated process of joining EU is to leave aside its prejudices and phobias and democratise the republic. Our party considers the Democratic Republic project as a sine qua non for meeting the century.
A CONSTITUTION AIMING AT THE PROMOTION OF FREEDOM
One of the most important deficiencies of our country is, however, undoubtedly the fact that it is still being ruled by a constitution, which is not democratic. Constitutions, which are prepared in order to protect the state's benefits are all outcomes of military interventions. The 1982 Constitution of Turkey is anti-democratic. State is exalted as a “sacred power” and the individual seen as a simple detail. It is unacceptable that the 1982 constitution has not been amended yet until now.
HADEP thinks that 1982 Constitution should be completely changed. Turkey needs a constitution, which promotes freedom. A constitution complying with universal standards and ensuring democracy and fundamental rights and freedom of everyone should be prepared through a social contract. The mentality and as well as the preparation process of constitutions have to be democratic.
NO DEMOCRACY WITHOUT HUMAN RIGHTS
Human rights are among the most important issues of this century. Turkey is, unfortunately, one of the countries where torture, which is a crime of humanity, is being applied systematically. Human rights violations are continuing to prevail on the other hand.
Fundamental rights and freedoms, which are emphasised in all international conventions and declarations like UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, European Convention on Human Rights, Paris Charter, Helsinki Final Document, Moscow and Vienna Declarations should be accepted as “supreme norms of law” and Turkey's domestic laws should be amended in accordance with these norms.
FREEDOM AND PLURALISM OF THOUGHT
One of the determinant principles of democracy is pluralism. It is impossible to talk about a democratic practice where the principles of “pluralism of thought” are destroyed. Thought is still considered criminal in our country. None of the citizens are obliged to think the way those in power do. Citizens should have the freedom to defend even the most divergent thought.
Some thoughts are still considered “terrorism” and subject to heavy penalties. It is impossible to accept the transformation of current Anti-terrorism Law into a “law to fight thoughts”.
We want all prohibitive and punishing provisions to be abolished and freedom of thought to be considered in accordance with universal criteria.
NO FREE SOCIETY WITHOUT THE FREEDOM OF WOMEN
Estimable members of HADEP;
Another important aspect of democratisation is the ending of oppression and discrimination against women. HADEP aims at common power of men and women.
It is clear that a free and egalitarian social order cannot be established unless the discrimination, oppression and violence against women comes to an end. It is no doubt that a rough and formal approach of egalitarianism to this issue would be insufficient.
We think that women should get rid of the duality of getting restricted to their traditional roles or becoming similar to the dominating men. all sections of society, particularly the political parties, have important duties as regards this issue.
Freedom of women is a precondition of democratic power. The women question is a very important issue among our other social and political problems. This is, at the same time, a basic strategic issue, which can transform the dominating men and anti-democratic system and it cannot be delayed.
Any kind of violence, oppression and discrimination against women should be eliminated for a more egalitarian, free and peaceful system.
It is not women who spark wars but peace can be achieved mostly with their efforts.
All obstacles in front of women's political participation should be removed. Struggle should be launched against prejudices against women and equal opportunity should be provided for participation in education and employment and a positive discrimination should be applied until all these obstacles are removed.
A democratic society is an organised one. Different sections get organised with their differences and thereby take part in decision making process. Democracy is an administrative form, which include organisational diversity along with diversity of thoughts. The fact that everyone has to beware is that democracy would be harmed not by the existence of different thoughts but their prohibition and punishment. What risks democracy is these prohibiting and oppressive policies.
HADEP refuses the banning of political parties for the views they support. Anti-democratic provisions of the constitution, which cause the banning of political parties should be abolished.
A new democratic Law on Political Parties should enable everyone to found parties with their genuine identities and implement their policies freely in power in case they get the approval of people.
It is known that the power that determines and has an effect on political life is not the parliament. Provisions that suggest the limitations of the power of parliament must be abolished, negative attitudes must be eradicated and a mission that surpasses what is determined by the laws must not be attributed to the National Security Committee.
STATE SECURITY COURTS (SSC) SHOULD BE ABOLISHED, THE DUAL JUDICIAL SYSTEM SHOULD BE ELIMINATED
SSCs, which are based on an anti-democratic mentality that suggest protecting the state from the people, have no legitimate basis. They should be abolished as soon as possible. Dual judgement system must be eliminated and military must deal with only military crimes.
A DEMOCRATIC PEACEFUL SOLUTION PROJECT FOR THE KURDISH PROBLEM
It can not be denied that the most important problem of Turkey is 'The Kurdish Problem'. Without solving this issue it is neither possible to to achieve peace within Turkey nor a transformation to complete democracy . The issue must be considered fully so that appropriate solutions can be achieved.
This issue is not related to the economically under-developed state or the feudal society structure of the area as it is claimed by some. Those who approach the issue with a mentality saying,' If welfare is brought to the area, the issue, will be solved,' ignore the actual cause of the issue. The main question is whether or not to accept the original identity of a community who are different.
It can not be denied that there is a need for more food and opportunity of work in the areas where Kurds live. However, to say that the solution is in more food and jobs would be to ignore the heart of the matter. The Kurdish problem can be solved only by the acceptance of differences and within complete democracy.
Turkey has a heritage of a cosmopolitan empire with multi-languages, various ethnicity and religions. The existing state of being multi-cultural , is a cultural riches for Turkey. To ignore this fact officially, and to attempt to melt to differences in one pot is the basis of the policy that forms the actual cause of the problem.
The fact that there has not been a civil war between Kurds and Turks in spite of all the pain that has been experienced, indicates that the reality of a country with multi -cultures and identities is adopted and accepted by the society.
Those who govern the state should make politics considering this maturity adopted by the society. We all know what politics based on denial did to our country. The only way to maintain differences within peace is to accept ethnical equality and differences.
'Single identity' government policy that has aimed to melt the differences in one pot so far should be abandoned. The painful reality that we have experienced and do not want to go through again is full of pain and tears. This page of grief should be a closed never to be opened again.
This country belongs to all of us. No citizen should have a privilege or superiority that the other one does not have. No one is inferior because of his religion or the ethnicity he belongs to . Everyone has equal rights and freedom. A Turk's having more rights and freedom than a Kurd or a Muslim's having more privileges than a non-Muslim can not be legitimate for the understanding of a democratic law state.
The criterion of democracy is based on freedom and equality rather than majority and minority.
If some people have the opportunity to express themselves freely in their mother tongues and the others are denied these rights , it is not possible to talk about democracy in this country.
In the last 77 years there has been 28 uprisings, the last of which being 'the most extensive one' as the 9th President Mr. Demirel has put it; and a new period started after all the destruction that took place until that time. .
During the period of destruction, according to official declarations 30 thousand people lost their lives. Thousands of villages and settling areas were erased. Millions of Kurdish villagers migrated to other cities or countries. Turkey almost collapsed economically. This violence mimed the souls as well as the bodies of thousands. Those who lost their lives were the people of this country.
In this painful period there were some who made a fortune out of drug smuggling and other illegal business. The gangs like 'Susurluk' and many others made economic and political profits out of blood and tears.
This tragedy should not happen again. A 'monument of peace' should be erected so that the pain experienced in the past will not occur again. It is time that we erected 'a monument of peace' or 'a monument of brotherhood' that will symbolise an equal and free togetherness on this land. We ask everybody to be considerate enough not to make politics out of pain. The blood and tears that are shed belong to all of us. .
HADEP is for every solution that will make peace permanent and democratization deeper
The principles related to the democratic peaceful solution project of Kurdish issue can be summarised as follows :
1- Kurds should be considered as basic foundation elements of the Republic
2- The state should abandon the phobia of division.
3- The Kurdish issue should be solved by an understanding of democratic reconciliation .
4- Turkey should be in peace with her historical and cultural heritage, and should embrace the citizens to whom she denied basic rights and freedom.
5- Turkey should not consider the ethnical, religious and cultural differences as a threat. On the contrary she should regard this as a riches and establish her political order and system of constitution on this democratic attitude.
6- Turkey should be a civilian, democratic and open society. Individual freedom and collective rights should be provided for every citizen equally. The acceptance of constitutional citizenship will prevent denial and separatism.
7- Kurdish identity and cultural rights should be secured by the constitution .
8- All the obstacles in the way of Kurd's using their mother tongues in education and publication.
9- OHAL should be abandoned, the military operations carried out in the area should be stopped.
10- The provision of law which indicates that political parties should not use language other than Turkish should be cancelled.
11- An opportunity to go back to their own villages must be given to the villagers who had to migrate. Besides, their losses must be compensated and appropriate conditions should be provided.
12- The old names should be given to the geographical areas whose names have been changed.
13- Kurdish people should not be denied the right to give names in their mother tongues to their children.
14- Village guard system should be abolished.
15- Prisons should be evacuated by a general amnesty for everyone. Citizens who have fled from the country due to the threat of punishment should be forgiven and the restrictions should be erased.
16- By means of a general amnesty law the armed forces of PKK should be allowed to take part in the democratic process.
17- An understanding of constitutional citizenship that respects language , identity and ethnicity of the individual and promotes cultural or religious equality should be adopted.
18- Death penalty should be removed from the laws without considering the individuals.
19- Turkey must regulate her inner law in accordance with the international agreements under which she signed
20- Election law should be changed so that the will of people can actually be represented in the parliament and the election barrier should be drawn to the minimum level.
21- The construction of F–type prisons should be stopped and humane life conditions in the prisons should be provided. Those who are responsible for torturing prisoners and convicts under the protection of state should be persecuted and punished.
The solution package we suggested above is a project which will be realised in the democratisation process of Turkey's political and administrative system.
A DEMOCRTIC BUT NOT OPRESSIVE UNDERSTANDING OF SECULARISM
One of the most important subjects under dispute is secularism. We think that these discussions are based on the fact that neither democracy nor secularism is not perceived correctly.
Secularism is neither atheism or an enmity of religion. Secularism is the unbiased and egalitarian attitude of the state towards different religious groups or beliefs. Secularism is neither an enmity of religion nor a state ideology. The understanding that politicises religion, actually abuses religion. Similarly those who politicise secularism do harm to secularism. In the last resort those who suffer from this dispute are true believers and secularists.
This is the essence of the situation in turkey. Turkey should get rid of both of these tendencies. After all, the fact that religion is kept under control of the ministry of religious affairs does not agree with secularism. Besides, only Sunni interpretation and one sect in this interpretation is the accepted officially and this does not comply with secularism.
The state being related to religion is as contradicting to secularism as religion being related to the state. This application demonstrated in the name of secularism puts pressure on the democratic reconciliation .
HADEP is for freedom of religion and conscience. We always defend the rights of our religious citizens to practice their religion freely. At this point the unbiased nature of the state carries a great importance. However a democratic interpretation of Islam is also necessary.
On the other hand, there are serious barriers in front of Alaouite citizens who want to be free in their beliefs and prayers. Pressure on the Alaouit community should be removed. There should be tolerance for different life styles arising from different beliefs and clothing should not be rendered a matter of dispute.
STRONG LOCAL ADMINISTRATION RATHER THAN PROVINCIAL BRANCHES OF THE CENTER
Local administration is the cradle of democracy. Democracy can not prosper in a community whose local administration has not developed enough. A democratic state is not a bureaucratic centralised state that keeps all the authority in the centre. On the contrary, it is a form of administration that transfers authority to local administrations.
The administrative system in Turkey is rigidly centralised because of lack of confidence in the people. This situation has both prevented the participation of the people and increased the local problems. Elected mayors in towns and cities have become officials detected by the district governors or the mayors appointed by the state. Mayors can be dismissed by the Minister of Internal Affairs without a juridical verdict. This needs to be corrected..
HADEP is for strong democratic local administrations with which local problems are solved there and then. Centralised bureaucratic systems should not have enormous authority that would suffocate local administrations. Services like education, health and traffic should be transferred to the local administrations .
It is more suitable to appoint governors and security directors by means of elections. It is known that local administrations are almost collapsing because of the subjective attitudes and political pressures of political governments. Especially unjust and discriminating attitudes towards municipalities won by HADEP. The political parties that took part in the coalition had a penalising attitude towards the people in these municipalities because of their votes. We condemn these parties and ask them to abandon this attitude. If the aim is a strong democracy, first there should be confidence in the people and a strong, participatory local administration law that promotes authority transfer to local administrations should be passed.
The economic and social issues that are caused by migration and the policies administered in the area for years need to be dealt with urgently. Therefore , East Anatolia and Southeast Anatolia should be declared as the disaster area without any discrimination and accordingly a share from the budget should be allocated.
RIGHT TO FREE EDUCATION AND UNIVERSITY FOR EVERYONE
Another problem that needs to be solved in Turkey is the question of education. It is impossible to create the reasonable individual, who can think freely and can criticise, without increasing the level of education. Authoritarian education methods would create inefficient and imitating individuals. A nation cannot join the contemporary countries without increasing its educational level. These principles will be guiding HADEP's policy on education.
Educational system should be democratised, racist, chauvinist and gender discrimination and inequalities between regions and classes should be eliminated, national budget for education should be increased and local governments and NGOs should become more effective in the arrangement of education. Education should be free and everyone should enjoy the right to education without any discrimination.
Compulsory religion courses should be changed as elective courses.
Everyone should be able to enjoy cultural and artistic opportunities in accordance with their abilities.
YOK, which is a constitutional institution, should be abolished and a democratic and participatory system should be established. HADEP support the idea of a free and autonomous university. Anti-democratic applications in the universities should come to an end.
Universities should operate as institutions where all kinds of thoughts are expressed and discussed freely . Kurdology departments should be started at universities and the Kurdish culture, language and history should be studied. Historical, sociological and political dimensions of Kurdish problem should be discussed freely.
Prohibitions against education in mother language should be eliminated.
Number of youth constitute at least one fifth of total population of Turkey. It is known that youth is the most dynamic section of society and as well as the most open for transformation. Youth have played an important role in our history and undertaken important social responsibilities.
I would like to emphasise once again how much we consider the youth importantly, in our congress, which is being realised in such a process of big change and transformation. Youth is the section of society, which is the most open to change, transformation and to what is new, as a necessity of their objective position. It is therefore that the countries, which consider the change try to make the youth active in political, social and all other fields of life and to decision process. Whereas this advantage has not been used sufficiently. The youth are pushed out of political life as a result of wrong and prohibitive policies. They were considered as only a practical power rather than a youth, which is interested in the problems of the country, and the anti-democratic and unscientific educational method has aimed at eroding the power of their thought.
We believe that we are a party of youth. The activities of youth has been very important in our party since its establishment. We do not consider it sufficient just to recognise the geniune nature of youth and remowe the obstacles in fron of their development.
We are trying to create necessary opportunities for them to become more effective in the future of the party and country by accelerating the activities of our youth wing. With the belief that the democratic society of future will be founded through active participation of youth, we are calling upon all the youth to take part in active politics.
ECONOMIC LIFE AND THE SOCIETAL POLICY
It is meaningless to refer to democracy and freedoms without a just share of production in the society. Economical policies relating to the whole of society and their results are very important. Democracy and freedom of expression, which have no economical basis, are insufficient in Turkey. Therefore the struggle between all democratic forces, particularly the labourers, and imperialism, monopolies and multi-national companies have intensified. Nowadays, the progressive, democratic and patriotic people have important responsibilities.
A bunch of people got rich while large sections of society got poor because of the stability policies implemented in the last twenty years. Moreover, vast majority of national resources were transferred to a small group of a happy minority and as a result of these policies the worst income distribution of the Republican era has emerged.
The concept of welfare state was left behind under the name of supporting industrialisation for exportation, share of labourers within the national income decreased due to the post 1980s economical policies, the expected industrialisation did not take place despite the increase in the profit of capital owners and large sections of society were harmed by these policies.
The resources should be used in more efficient fields for economical development and new policies should be followed in order to increase people's welfare. A “Plan” should be prepared for a democratic development in economy, too, just like in the societal and political fields.
The aim of this plan should be removing of the dominance of big monopolist capitalists, elimination of poverty and the inequality in income distribution and ensuring industrialisation, which are the main obstacles preventing democratisation.
HADEP considers the control of all negativity in the economy as the guaranty of our democracy. HADEP wants the economy to be directed in a way more beneficial for large sections of people and real producers and a system based on a just share. Resources should be taken from profiteers and invested in more productive fields, which would balance income distribution and increase the welfare of labourers, in accordance with the principles of social-state. Budgets should be organised in a manner to increase the social welfare. Taxes on labourers should be decreased.
Majority of society have been neglected in the fields of health, education and working life. Privatisation was implemented in education and health and these services were changed into fields for profit making. Thus, poor sections were rendered deprived of the right to receive education and health services. Everyone has the right to a healthy life. In order to realise this health services should be provided for free. A social state is the one that can ensure this.
The regulations that were carried out under the name social security reform were nothing other than depriving the working people of the right to feel confident about future. It is impossible to describe these regulations as reforms in a country where one fifth of population has no social security and a quarter health insurance. The frame of social security system should not be narrowed down because of the insistence of IMF but on the contrary all working people should be ensured social security.
Social security system should be strengthened. The insurance premiums, which cannot be collected should be used for increasing the social welfare.
Obstacles preventing the working people from having right to collective bargaining should be removed and the 10 % threshold, which puts working people under pressure should be stopped.
Working hours should be decreased and thus jobs should be created for the unemployed people.
The SEEs should no more be sold with very cheap prices on the pretext of closing public deficits. New regulations should be passed for a more efficient and productive operation of these investments, which are outcomes of taxes and insurance premiums of working people.
There are big differences between regions in Turkey. Some regions are supported by the state and provided important privileges and some others are left underdeveloped due to the policies of state. Political factors were effective on this underdevelopment but the experiences show that this approach does not solve but aggravates the problems.
The GAP project is of great importance in this respect. The GAP project, which is a macro project, should be implemented in a manner to provide solution for social and political problems, too. This, however, can be realised only by removing obstacles preventing democratic participation of the people of region and implementing it without harming the genuine nature of the region. GAP could be expected to be also a democracy project if obstacles in front of freedom of expression, press, organisation, cultural development and political representation were eliminated.
We, as HADEP, are pretentious for the execution of this project.
HADEP THE POWER
Our people who are the guaranty of freedom,
Estimable staff of HADEP,
Women who are labourers for peace,
And the HADEP youth who are the guaranty of democratic republic,
All the world have witnessed under what circumstances we have gained our dignity, identity and freedom. They have also witnessed how we created this party and brought it up to today shouldering sacred responsibilities.
They will witness us establishing the democratic power of brotherhood, freedom, equality and unity, too, with determination and belief. Our determination for struggle, democracy culture and passion for peace is the guaranty of the democratic Turkey in 21st century.
We will democratise this country. We will manage this through more organisation, clasp and work. Its only us, the organised people who believe in labour, human and democracy, who can bring solutions to the problems we enlisted.
HADEP will shout and pursue the demands of the oppressed, poor villagers, unemployed, youth and women. We will get our power from the organised unity of all these sections.
We will condemn war provocateurs and gangs through our peace culture. We undertake the duty to be the pioneering dynamic for democratisation. We are aiming to bring the millions to power by organising them in a democratic front. We will democratise the oligarchic republic. We are all preparing to be the labourers, staffs and performers of this process. Our congress should be the motor force for this.
Democratic reformation necessitates great efforts and maturity. Democratic change and transformation can be realised only by means of a big peace project.
This is the most important need of our people and Turkey. we should, yet, understand and trust each other. We have to take the necessary steps without loosing time. No one should speak or act in a confidence loosing manner and, on the contrary, everyone should act to strengthen the confidence. This would be the beginning of the way to a lasting peace. Peace should grow and establish in this land and this is the way to living in unity. We have to give chance to each other and win together and we have no other alternative.
We want those watching the HADEP Congress to understand the messages given from here very well. We are extremely honest in our words. No one should seek any other reasons beneath. We too are changing along with the changing world and Turkey. we will make constant efforts to renew ourselves. We may have mistakes in the past which might have caused misunderstanding. No one should doubt that we will follow a trustworthy policy through a deep reckoning.
We trust ourselves and our people. We do believe that we will be living in a democratic country and society in peace and brotherhood very soon.
We have to mobilise to eliminate the destruction in the past. We have to cooperate for a lasting peace.
LONG LIVE PEACE,
LONG LIVE BROTHERHOOD,
LONG LIVE DEMOCRACY,
Thank you very much once again for honouring the congress of our party with your presence.
Ahmet Turan DEMÝR
HADEP PresidentEstimable Members of Party Committee,