Friday, September 02, 2005

The Destroyed Army of Truck Drivers

When the Turkish Grand National Assembly didn’t allow the U.S to use military bases to strike Iraq, we didn’t predict that Turkish truck drivers would be the third army in the death toll listings of occupying forces soon.

“Bids are being accepted for the first slice of the 18.6 billion dollars worth of contract pie. 55 Turkish firms have bid for contracts. Turkish firms are expecting a portion of 6 billion dollars from the pie (2004/01/09, Milliyet).

After U.S has completed occupation of Iraq, a part of the re-construction and transportation contracts have been awarded to Turkish firms. This was a huge opportunity for Turkish capital which was jammed within the national borders.

Certainly, there was no room for confusion when Turkish capitalists used truck drivers to cross the southern borders.

At 1 August 2004, The organization of Abu Musab el Zerkavi stated that they were holding two Turkish truck drivers and they will be executed if their employer company, which was transporting supplies to occupation forces, doesn’t cease its activities in Iraq.

As usual, prorities of capital weren’t defeated by the urgent necessities of humanity. Two days later, one of the truck drivers executed by head-choppers.

The first reaction of Turkish government and media was fearsome as usual. They swore for vengeance with one voice. Prime Minister Erdogan commented that the heartless murderers would be punished as soon as possible.

At 29 August 2004, he changed his tune while the Turkish capitalists were demanding state’s security help for Turkish citizens (actually for their capital) on foreign lands: “The Turkish firms which are working in Iraq have to be built up their own security systems”. This was the confession of Turkey’s insufficiency to operate “the iron fist” alongside the “invisible hand” on the free market in comparison with the U.S.

While the total of victims were increasing day to day, the news from new executions were taking up lesser space in the media. Eventually, risk of being chopped off became an ordinary thing for truck driver’s heads. The promises given to the orphan families of martyrs have blew over. And reporters are not intrested in interviewing with children and wives weeping in front of the cameras. And no one really knows the real number of killed truck drivers anymore.

The “tragedy” of a truck driver (In Turkish we have brilliant phrase to describe tragedy: the stick soiled with shit at both ends) is that he have to make selection between his family’s death from hunger by staying unemployed at home, and earning his cost of living by gambling with his head against the anger of local resisters in Iraq. The “freedom of choice” promoted by liberalism is nothing more than what was donated to Turkish truck drivers. The enormity of their tragedy is equal to the magnificence of capitalists' non-contradictory joissance.

Mehmet Çagatay
September, 2005

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