‘Airport in forest, but no rally in Taksim’

‘Airport in forest, but no rally in Taksim’

Banning rallies in Taksim Square, an airport near the Black Sea coast, a nuclear power plant for Sinop. Is there any connection among all these? Yes, these are indicators that the roots of an authoritarian conservative capitalism are going deeper.

The last three days of the past week featured characteristics of this. The governor of an “advanced democracy” regime has been defending measureless violence of the state; he has seen no problem in accusing a girl who was hit on her head by a gas bomb canister, of being a member of a “radical, marginal organization.” The prime minister has defended that governor.

A governor whose statement about Dilan, who was hit in the head by a gas bomb shell, was, “She is a member of an organization,” has been proven wrong. Even if she were a member of an organization, whether it was legitimate to fire a gas shell at her head, is a good question to ask the governor. The same governor’s statement saying, “She had a Molotov Cocktail in her hand” was also proved wrong.

We have witnessed how the state is taking on a 17-year-old girl with all its might. This state is that kind of a state. In order not to make any concession from its authority, this state is capable of mobilizing 30,000 police in one city. The mentality is the same as the Sept. 12 coup mentality when anybody rebelling against their authority was defined as a “terrorist.” The “chief” of that state was yelling, “You stage your demonstration at the place that is designated to you. This is rule of law.” So, this is rule of law?

Let’s continue… This state is also one that is disabled by a reckless capitalism. No forest, sea or lake can restrict it. What has happened in the past three days? For example, the tender for the third airport was held on Friday. Billions of euros were flying in the air. The airport will be built near the Terkos Lake, on the Black Sea coast. There was a detailed Environmental Impact Statement (ÇED) report at daily Cumhuriyet on Saturday. In a nutshell, out of the total of 2,513,341 trees in the project area, 657,950 will be cut. The remaining 1,855,951 trees will be transported. Some 70 lakes and ponds in the area will first be used as irrigation water, then will be filled. The report said the damage done in this area will affect the ecosystem of Istanbul.

Add the third bridge to this picture. This highway will pass through the same region and damage the environment to a great extent. But we do not know how this bridge and highway will damage the environment because the Environment Ministry has issued a regulation that exempts the third bridge from ÇED.

On the same day, the Japanese-French partnership was decided upon to build the Sinop nuclear power plant. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe signed the deal for the power plant costing $2 billion. Experts say this power plant will use a technology that has not been accepted in any country.

We started with Taksim, continued with the third airport, and ended with the nuclear plant. These are symptoms of an authoritarian conservative capitalism which has the same mentality as the Sept. 12 coup leaders about political opposition outside the system. They are ruthless about the environment and history just to be at the top levels of global capitalism.

We have an authoritarian mentality before us which does not find peace unless the society is suppressed in this way. It cannot break away from the mentality it took over from.

Yetvart Danzikyan is a writer for daily Radikal. This abridged article originally appeared on May 6 on the paper’s website.