Shutting Education Down is Not Enough, Leave Your Interest for the Market! – 16 March 2020

After the World Health Organization’s announcement of COVID-19 being a pandemic, like most of the other countries, all educational institutions have been shut down in Turkey.

As the Communist Youth of Turkey, we are extending our solidarity with the peoples of every country struggling with the outbreak.

However, we have to do more than wishing well for our country, and ask some questions. Why did the 3-week break, which is said to be given “for taking action”, started from Monday instead of  the day it was decided, which is Thursday.

Many of our schoolmates were forcibly removed from the KYK Dormitories (public dormitories) and it was said that the dormitories will be closed. What are the measures taken against the possibility of young people returning to their hometown as a carrier of the virus?

Is the “precaution” taken for thousands of people returning from Umrah at night, kicking the students out of their dormitory even not letting them get their belongings? Was the return date of the people returning from Umrah, a surprise for the ministry? Why were social media reactions expected to act, and then the students were victimized?

Some of the students work on the one hand while staying in the dormitory. Will the working students continue to work in cafes, bars and plazas while their schools have been vacationed by taking precautions? Do students who have to return home leave work for paid leave?

Under “normal” conditions, many schools do not have hygienic materials such as soap, paper towels, and an insufficient number of cleaning staff are employed in schools. What will be the approach to these conditions during the next 3 weeks or will schools welcome the students in the same way after 3 weeks? How are the inspections of the private dormitories that are not closed going to be made? In these institutions, where we do not witness that they are disinfected under normal conditions, is student health left to the mercy of managers of dormitories?

Communist Youth of Turkey have previously pointed out the exorbitant bills, the rental fees in the regions where students live densely, and the inadequacy of KYK loans and scholarships, and emphasized that basic human rights such as accommodation, heating and electricity should be free. In addition, we made an effort to ensure that the responses take an organized form in all struggles against price increases on fees, book fees and the dining fees in dining halls of universities, and tried to ensure that the gains were permanent. Today, we see that the system, which condemns students to poverty during the continuous crisis, forced the students to return to their homes in an extraordinary humanitarian crisis, possibly increasing the spread of the virus dozens of times. The selection of student dormitories as a quarantine area instead of dozens of private businesses, accommodation facilities and hotels in Ankara and Konya proves once again that the capital and profit system will be untouchable even in times of humanitarian crisis.

It is not possible in the political order in which the fundamental rights of young people are left to the mercy of monopolies and the market. The irrational order and its representatives cannot convince anyone by closing their eyes to the facts. Privatization of health, which is the consequences of an economic system based on exploitation and profit, endanger public health at all times.

Communist Youth of Turkey, in order to obtain a genuine precaution, declares the following requirements:

  • All students traveling between cities during the past week should be tested for the virus free of charge and quarantined if necessary.
  • Basic needs and cleaning products must be provided free of charge to every student who will continue to stay in dormitories or student houses for 3 weeks, and an additional budget must be transferred for nutritional needs.
  • All students working with or without insurance must be on paid leave.
  • Rents and monthly private dormitory fees should be canceled.
  • Disinfection and supervision of private dormitories should be ensured.

We invite our deskmates, all of the families and school staff to unite around the demands we list. Public health threats cannot be resolved in 3 weeks, while an organized society will solve many problems in 3 weeks.

Disorganization kills, not the Outbreaks!