Europe, Middle East, News Watch, Side Feature

Pay Rises Will Not Draw the Curtain over the Oppression of the Capitalist System!

Türkiye: Inflation figures for December, which concern millions of working civil servants and retired civil servants, have been announced. The rate of increase in salary of civil servants and retired civil servants has been announced. Civil servants and retired civil servant retirees will get a raise of 16,47 percent. President Erdogan updated the 2023 rate of increase to 30 percent. (All News Agencies)

After the Turkish government’s latest regulation on the Those Hindered from Retirement Due to Age (EYT), eyes were turned to the increase to be made to the retired civil servants and workers who suffered under inflation and the cost of living. After the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) announced the inflation data for December, the rates of increase expected by millions of civil servants, retired civil servant and retired workers became clear.

TurkStat announced the monthly inflation as 1.18 percent and the annual inflation as 64.27 percent. The Inflation Research Group (ENAG) also released its own data. ENAG reported that the monthly inflation was 5.18 percent and the annual inflation 137.55 percent.

After the announced inflation data, employees and pensioners will get a total of 30 percent raise in January. This ridiculous raise for employees and pensioners has caused disappointment in these circles. The raise for employees and pensioners by showing the inflation rates low, appeared to be low too. The government again let the employees and pensioners suffer in the face of inflation. However, President Erdogan, in his statement after the last cabinet meeting, stated that they are determined to reflect Turkey’s earnings and wealth to all segments of the nation, especially to the employees, and that they will handle the increases in salary of civil servants and pensioners with this approach. However, with this increase, as always, President Erdogan has made the earnings and wealth of this country available to only a few capitalist companies. He made the banks rich, who exploit the people. He transferred the wealth and earnings of this country to the financial institutions and showed once again that he is on the side of a handful of capital owners, not the people. For example; In Turkey, the richest 10% receive 54.5% of all income, while the poorest 50% receive only 12% of all income.

In every platform, President Erdogan says that they do not and from now on will not let the employees and pensioners suffer under inflation. He claims that they always protect the rights of employees and pensioners. However, within the frame of the announced inflation figures, it is obvious that the raise given to the employees remains incapable against the cost of living. Even the minimum wage increase remained on the brink of starvation.

Last year alone, staple food prices increased by an average of 300 percent, and energy and oil prices increased by an average of 400 percent. These figures alone are an indication of how ridiculous the pay rise given to employees and pensioners is. In the same way, this people, who suffered under inflation, entered the new year with price hikes. From motor vehicle taxes to vehicle insurance premiums, exorbitant increases have been made to many items from A to Z.

Before this price hikes, the government relieved the society psychologically by making a new regulation for the minimum wage earners and EYT. However, this relief didn’t last long. The government took back with a ladle what it had given with a teaspoon. It will continue to take with a ladle after the elections. In fact, whether it is the government’s minimum wage increase, EYT, the latest increase in salary of civil servants and pensioners, yes, all these steps are 2023 election investments. It is election bribery. If it were not for the 2023 elections, could the government have taken these steps on these issues? If such decisions could be taken in this period where the country is in financial difficulties, they would be taken by all odds in the absence of economic crisis. So, why wasn’t it taken? To whom was the right of the people, the citizen, the employee, the pensioner given? In a speech he made about the EYT in 2019, Erdogan said, “Even if we lose the election, I am out of it. Didn’t he say that this calculation is a miscalculation? So what has changed today? This means that the government can take such steps at any time, even if it is to win the 2023 elections. As long as it wants to take [such steps].

On the other hand, when we look at the 1300-year history of Islam, there has never been such an economic persecution. There was never a period in which price hikes were made one after another, the purchasing power of the people decreased, misery and poverty became so widespread, and the sweat of brow of the worker and the civil servant was exploited so much. Because the Islamic State meets the basic needs of the people. It doesn’t make electricity, water, natural gas and other publicly owned properties available to a handful of capitalist companies. It uses them for the benefit of the people. In the same way, there are no permanent taxes that bend the backs of the people and create a great burden on them. There is only development, prosperity, peace and happiness. May my Lord grant us such a state in the near future, Inshallah…

Yilmaz CELIK