Work-related accidents, resolution process, constitution: All the same

Work-related accidents, resolution process, constitution: All the same

When I read Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan’s words, “In order to grow faster, we need to make structural reforms,” I had to read the rest of the statement to fully understand the concept “reform.” He was referring to the prime minister’s “Economic Transformation Plan,” which was announced about two weeks ago.

It is apparent that our country has to make extensive transformations – reforms – in the economic and administrative fields; the government calls the laws it has passed “reforms.” But no offense, I think that what Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu detailed during the announcement of his economic transformation plan, as well as the package about occupational accidents, were neither structural reforms nor a serious legal platform.

Let’s not fool ourselves, 417 reform action plans cannot be prepared in two months. Work-related accidents cannot be prevented with the measures announced.

Davutoğlu said the countries that could not accommodate to the great economic and international transformations in history fell behind. He said political instabilities in the 1990s caused very serious disorganization in Turkey's economic structure. This is true, except for the starting year. The horrible political order started in 1969 and lasted for 33 years until Nov. 2002. However, solutions to these issues are not included in the government’s bill.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) managed the daily routine well in the first 10 years, but it did not make any of the essential and radical reform preparations to eliminate the disorganization caused by instability.

One example is the effort to make a reform in public administration in 2004. A law was passed in Parliament, of course with the opposition of the Republican People’s Party (CHP). But Ahmet Necdet Sezer, president at the time, returned it, noting his objections but at the same time highlighting the necessity of restructuring the public administration. 

Alas, there was no insistence; the structural reform was just given up! But just because the AK Party gave it up, it did not mean that the need for a structural reform in the administration was no longer there.

For the occupational safety package, there is no need for a law to implement many of the measures the prime minister mentioned. 

Classes on work safety, certificates for workers, installing a chip for mine workers, having three-dimensional mine plans, sharing electronic correspondence, and other things... There is no need for a press conference for these; most can be applied with a ministerial circular.

If legal provisions were able to prevent work-place accidents, which are more like murders than accidents, then the current provisions would have done so already. Davutoğlu should think over why the issues he referred to need legal provisions.  

Why is Davutoğlu not thinking that the state’s administration and the justice system are inconsistent with democratic administration principles, that the entire organization has worn out, become dysfunctional, that it is highly unqualified, confused and unmonitored, and that laws were contradictory and inapplicable? Why is he engaged in laws that are obviously not going to work?

If the number of articles in laws increase, then the people who want to save those who responsible will only find more clauses. But the dead will still be dead.

Who is stopping the government from working on structural reforms, taking them to parliamentary sessions to be debated, and passing them in Parliament? Who is preventing them effectively and by manipulation? We have been asking this question since 2010 and are still looking for its answer.