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Can Dundar: « Possibility of Nuclear Plant Should be Asked in Referendum » 19 mars 2011

Posted by Acturca in Economy / Economie, Energy / Energie, Russia / Russie, Turkey / Turquie.
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Milliyet (Turkey), 19 March 2011                                              Türkçe

Column by  Can Dündar

The CHP [Republican People’s Party] has hit several birds with one stone: Not only has it become the voice of hundreds of thousands of young men awaiting a solution to their military service woes, it has also put an end to the formula: CHP + Army = Government.

What is more, it has put the ruling party, which had been the standard bearer for « civilian change, » into the position of « status quo caretaker and military service guardian. » The prime minister explained the other day that all these things: « would be fixed by nicely sitting down to talks with the military and reaching a consensus. » If any CHP member had said this they would have been immediately branded « supporter of military tutelage. »

To date we have seen Bulent Arinc giving the nod to « payment in lieu of military service » with his comments as well as the AKP putting the military’s mind at ease with statements by the Defence Minister saying, « Nothing of the sort. » Party spokesmen are insisting that the CHP’s comment is nothing more than « electioneering. »

What difference does it make?

They can voice it either as a proposal for legislation or as election pledge. What is important is the content of the proposal, is it not?

As it is now, the CHP can see that compulsory military service has become an obstacle that holds youths back and that sabotages their future plans. It is expressing this and coming up with a solution. Its suggested solution is this: Not the prime minister’s proposal of « the rich do not have to do it » but rather a fair solution that aims for a smaller professional army that reduces the duration of compulsory military service while looking out for the poor, that gives university students the chance to complete their compulsory military service…

Erdogan said he would not be able to take on such a responsibility on the grounds that « a certain segment of society would be unfairly treated. » He said, « We shall put it to a referendum after the general election. Let our people decide. »

The prime minister may well be thinking that the practice of payment in lieu in order to whittle down the backlog may be unfair to those who have done long-term military service, but why is he not debating the other part of it? The part where military service is reduced, where the army is downsized? Why is he throwing the ball to the people?

It is because of his long time in government and because he has made it a part of the status quo that he always criticized.

Seeing that unfair treatment of the people creates the need for a referendum, now is the perfect time for asking the people about Akkuyu. As Japan is panicking over its inability to put out the post-earthquake nuclear fire, as the world is experiencing a nuclear disaster, as the countries of Europe are suspending investment in nuclear power, I wonder if the people of Turkey think it appropriate for Turkey to lay the foundations for Akkuyu and to open its arms for an investment that even the Russians are not allowing on their own soil?

Is it ready to risk the disaster that Japan with all its experience failed to prevent?

It is happy with taking this risk all for the sake of cheaper energy?

Does it know the difference between a gas bottle explosion and radioactive fallout?

Does it want a nuclear power station in Akkuyu?

The prime minister should not be responsible for being a victim, for a nuclear risk, for a disaster that experts say is quite possible.

Come. This is the question we should really be asking the people.

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