Nobody is called to account in this country

Nobody is called to account in this country

Do you remember Muharrem Taş? There is no probability that one can ever forget his heart-crushing photo. In the eastern province of Van’s Yalınca village, the Çalık area was snowbound and one-and-a-half-year-old Muharrem died because he could not be taken to hospital. His father was carrying his tiny body on his back wrapped in a bundle.   

Do you remember what then Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy head Hüseyin Çelik said? Let me remind you. 

He said, “Whoever has been negligent here, whoever has done wrong, that person should be held accountable in the name of the nation, on behalf of little Muharrem. This is a huge mistake, a fault, a gaff; it should definitely be called to account.”

What do you think happened then? The offense was charged on two health workers, the emergency medical technician and the emergency doctor. The government’s practices which caused this tragedy, from transformation in health to the closure of village services to handing over of the snowplowing duties to contractors and contracted workers, were ignored. Nobody was called to account on that front. 

When the bridge collapsed in Çaycuma and 15 people died, do you remember what the governor said? He said, “Through a judicial investigation into neglect we will find those who are responsible. If there is neglect, it will be looked into.” 

What happened next? 

The chief public prosecutor closed the investigation because the administration did not allow an investigation of the responsible institutions and individuals. Thus, in the disaster where 15 people died, nobody was found responsible. 

In the Ermenek mine disaster where 18 miners died, do you remember what then Development Minister Cevdet Yılmaz said? He said, “Whoever is responsible, whoever was negligent or at fault, they will have a response within the framework of the law.”

What did Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu say? He said, “If there was neglect by any institution it will absolutely be called to account.”

What happened next? 

The Labor and Social Security Ministry rejected the appeal to take to court the business inspectors assigned to control the mine where the disaster happened. 

In the elevator disaster in the construction site where 10 workers died, then Labor Minister Faruk Çelik said, “This incident will be solved from all aspects; wherever there was fault or negligence will be enlightened.”

What happened next? 

A verdict of non-prosecution was reached for the bosses and top executives of Torunlar Construction. The Housing and Development Agency of Turkey (TOKİ) and the Municipality of Şişli in Istanbul, which have not controlled the construction for one-and-a-half years, were at odds with each other, claiming, “It was not my responsibility.” Both of them were not called to account. 

Strong words were uttered after the Soma mine disaster, right? 

Then Energy Minister Taner Yıldız said, “If there was neglect by somebody we would not forgive him whether he is from the private sector or the public.”

What happened next? 

Even though there were quite a number of public employees who were found faulty in the expert report, they were exempt from being tried because the Labor Ministry did not allow it.

And now we come to the incident where young Dilek Doğan lost her life at her home with a police bullet. 

Prime Minister Davutoğlu said, “If there is wrongdoing, whatever is needed will be done.”

What do you think will happen? Nothing will happen. 

Officials as usual will opt to protect the suspects with their administrative powers instead of the judicial process.

I wish I will be proven wrong and lose face for making this prediction. 

But I don’t think so. 

When was the last time the real criminals were called to account in this country?