KESK: Local elections will be a sort of referendum

The Public Workers union to support candidates who pledged their commitment to the building of a free, equal, pluri-cultural and pluri-lingual society.

KESK (Confederation of Public Service Workers Union) held a press conference at the headquarters of the Municipal and Local Administrative Services Workers Union (ALL BEL-SEN).

The press conference was attended by KESK and KESK affiliates and members.

KESK co-chairs, Mehmet Bozgeyik and Aysun Gezen, were also present at the press conference and exposed expectations and issues on the forthcoming local elections, to be held on 31 March.

Bozgeyik said that a democratic, participatory, transparent, gender equality, free and ecological understanding of local government is one of the union’s priorities.

It will be a referendum!

Noting that the AKP and the MHP power bloc, has tried to institutionalise the trustees, the one-man regime in all areas, and social tensions are growing in every field together with the economic crisis, Bozgeyik pointed out that polarization and violence are increasingly being escalated.

“This election - he said - will be a referendum on whether this ‘new’ presidential system has in fact turned the parliament into an ineffective body by transferring all powers to the sultanate.”

Bozgeyik, who said the trustee system is an “extortion” added: “Whatever the election results, the threat of reintegration is frequently reminded by many. Therefore, the next election is also the struggle for the protection of the right to vote and the right of the people’s will against this usurpation regime.”

Bozgeyik, while noting that the concept of direct democracy and participatory governance starts at local level, said that the 31 March local elections would be an important contribution in the struggle for the democratization of Turkey.

Bozgeyik listed 17 steps to be taken by the confederation for the local elections.

Among these steps are: 

* Ensure participation through transparency in decision-making and control mechanisms,

* Convinced that a democratic and participatory understanding of local government must first begin in the provincial and municipal councils,

* Considering local administrations not as a company, but as a service provider, based on social benefit rather than profit in the provision of local services.

* Countering privatization and subcontracting in the provision of local services;

* Defending the fair, equal and democratic functioning of all social processes from production to consumption,

* Considering the local governments as an essential area countering ​​human alienation, and based on the ecological approach of local government at every level  

* Aiming at creating social and cultural participation projects to bring local people together with their universal cultures and developments,

* A multicultural, multi-lingual and multi-identity life with a freedom approach, as well as a wealth based on life together, public services accessible to everyone, defending each one’s mother tongue;

* Rejecting any discrimination based on class position, blood ties, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief among citizens; 

* Aiming to create free social and cultural facilities and nurseries, nursing homes and education centers to increase participation of elderly, disabled, women, youth and children in social life;

* Transport, clean water, infrastructure, heating, garbage etc. are regarded as primary services and therefore should be direct, qualified and free;

* Urban transformation should not be based on rent and plunder, but on the perception of a city where people from different cultures can live together,

* To use public spaces, which are the social property of cities, for the benefit of society and the people,

* Equal representation of women at all levels of management,

* Taking into consideration the democratic, economic, social and personal rights of the workers,

* Recognizes the rights and freedoms of workers who are entitled to collective bargaining and the right to strike,

* Believes that democracy should be fully implemented within all institutions and rules, and advocates for supporting candidates supporting those programs and principles.