Zübeyde Kılıç, President of the Education and Science Workers' Union (Eğitim-Sen), issued a written statement on the occasion of the Global Day of Action on Military Spending on 12 April. He argued that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) aimed at increasing the budget for military expenditures while the amount of money allocated to education and health was insufficient.
As reported by the Etkin News Agency (ETHA), Kılıç pointed to the data compiled by the Public Expenditures Monitoring Platform which revealed striking facts about Turkey, he said.
"Military expenditures made up for about 2.0 percent of the Gross National Product (GNP) before the crisis in 2009. In 2010, this ratio increased to 2.08 percent to be followed by a further rise to 2.1 percent planned for 2011, as it was defined. Compared to the sectors of education of health, it becomes significant that the AKP government aims to increase military expenditures. This situation sweeps away the reality of an anti-militarist discourse", Kılıç criticized.
"Budged for education decreased"
Kılıç indicated that the share of the National Education Ministry budget in the GNP is foreseen at 2.8 percent for 2011. This is the continuation of a permanent decrease of the amount of money allocated year by year to the Turkish National Education budget, Kılıç emphasized.
He claimed the amount of money allocated from the general budget to education was not enough to cover the basic requirements of schools and students. The majority of students was facing an insufficient number of teachers, a shortage of physical equipment and facilities, Kılıç deplored.
"This situation is particularly prevailing in the east of our country where children grow up in an environment of violence", Kılınç stated.
"We do not accept the government calling itself civil but cutting social expenditures day by day because they do not make a concession on military expenditures. At the same time, our children and our youth are deprived of their basic educational needs. The priority in our country should be given to education, peace in education and developing a culture of living together at school. This picture proves that the call to 'allocate the budget not to war but to education' voiced for years was not only a slogan and how much it is still valid".
Military expenditures of 1.630 billion Dollar
According to a report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Turkey allocated $ 15.364 billion to military expenditures. For 2011, the country allocated $ 20 billion to the military and the police.
Based on the SIPRI report, the Fırat News Agency (ANF) announced that the global budget for military expenditures amounted to $ 1.63 trillion in 2010. The highest amount was reported for the USA with $ 698 billion, followed by China with $ 119 billion and the UK with $ 59.6 billion. (EKN/VK)
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