WAN, NORTHERN KURDISTAN
The AKP regime had run comprehensive propaganda campaigns over the past months about providing children with electronic tablets for them to be able to study away from school. Today, people in Wan rejected these tablets after they were pressured to become members of the AKP in order to receive the devices.
Parents in the Wan container city, a city which was built after the earthquake in Wan in 2011, refused to accept the electronic tablets being distributed by the AKP regime for children to study. It was revealed by the family members that the tablets were only distributed on the condition of membership to the AKP. One of the parents said, “We will not sell our honour for a tablet, let our children not study.”
The Ministry of Education for Turkey had announced that electronic devices would be handed out to students in the second phase of the transition to in-class education. Accordingly, students are supposed to study two days a week in-class and three days a week from home via electronic tablets.
Visiting a primary school in Çankırı on the first day of the face-to-face education, Turkey’s Minister of Education, Ziya Selçuk, announced that the tablets, which they previously announced to have distributed to 500 thousand students, have only just started to be distributed.
AKP members who visited the container city in Wan; a ‘temporary’ measure which was taken after an earthquake of 7.2 magnitude occurred in the region 9 years ago. The people who were left to settle in the containers established in the İstasyon Mahallesi of İpekyolu, refused to accept the tablets which were supposed to be distributed to their children.
According to the information obtained from the families by Mezopotamya Agency, the AKP members went to the container city in three vehicles, and demanded families accept membership to the AKP in order for their children to be able to receive the tablets.
Using the people’s hunger to manipulate them
Except for a few of the hundreds of people living in the container city, most of the families reacted to the situation. Rasim Acar, who lives in the container city with his family, said that the AKP members who came to the container city said that they would distribute tablets to the families, and in return they asked for their identity information and photographs on the condition that they should be members of the AKP.
Rasim stated: “They do not have the right to force people to join the AKP by threatening them. The situation of the people here is obvious. As if this is not enough, they come here and try to exploit yet another situation. Whatever my political opinion is, a political party has no right to threaten me in this way. How much is a tablet worth? They cannot buy me or my will.”
AKP members are fed, the rest are left hungry
Expressing that they have lived in a container city for 9 years, Süheyla Yıldız stated that it is the governments’ duty to distribute the tablets but that the poverty they live in is being exploited politically. Yıldız said, “We are poor, they come and benefit from this situation in return for work, money or tablets.”
Iran Acar, one of the camp residents, stated that those who were affiliated with the AKP in the city were fed while the rest are being left hungry. Saying that they do not accept to be treated in such a way, Acar said, “I will never join the AKP and especially not for a tablet. If necessary, my child should not study at all, and they should stay at home. I will not give my honour and dignity in return for a tablet.”
Enrolled membership without consent
Only weeks ago, residents of Wan city who received social aid during the pandemic complained that they were enrolled as members of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) without their consent.
Residents who gave their identity information to the government to receive 1,000 Turkish Liras in aid found out later that they had been made members of the AKP without their consent as they received text messages confirming their membership.