Vedat Bilgin, Minister of Labor and Social Security, attended the “Shoulder to Shoulder 165 Years Railway Workers' Meeting” Program held at TCDD Behiç Erkin Meeting Hall.
Stating that it was exciting to celebrate the 165th anniversary of the railways, Minister Bilgin said, “I congratulate your 165th anniversary as a railwayman. When I was the General Manager, there was a lot of talk about high-speed rail in Turkey, but every time the subject of high-speed train was mentioned, people were smiling because such a thing was not possible. In those days, there was a project to rehabilitate the railway. I convinced the minister of the period, we said that we can turn this project into a high-speed train project. But all the legislation was a preparation in order to make double lines in certain areas on the railway, to ease the road. We turned it into a high-speed train project and I introduced the high-speed train project at a press conference. For the realization of the High Speed Train Project, our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave great support to the railways, transferred resources, and the high-speed train has now reached the stage to go all over Turkey, this is a matter of pride for us.” used the phrase.
“Railways are the Locomotive of the Industrial Age”
Stating that the high-speed train between Ankara and Istanbul will be in Istanbul in about 3 hours with some arrangements, Bilgin said, “It is exciting to see this dream come true in 20 years. While I was working at Gazi University, the reason why I was interested in this sector was: Why did Turkey delay in industrialization? While researching this, I saw the importance of railways. If there are 10 books on railways in Turkey, 5 of them have my signature. I have discussed the relationship between railways and development in various theses. Railways are the carriers and locomotive of the industrial age. The Industrial Revolution cannot take place without the railway, this is one of the most important reasons for our delay. In the last 20 years, approximately 20 billion dollars of resources have been transferred to the railways, I think that this resource is the driving force of Turkey's development.
“Turkey's Development Face Passes Through Railways”
Pointing out that there are always those who make defamatory literature and negative propaganda in Turkey, Bilgin continued: “These are people who do not believe in Turkey's power, in the creativity, energy and potential of the Turkish people. Turkey now continues the excitement of the period that Behiç Bey started, with high-speed trains. This is one of the most important resources behind our development. The Railway Industry actually constitutes the source of industrialization, produces engineering from there, the elements of the automotive industry were born from the railway factories. Turkey's development face passes through the railways, and Turkey entered this path, albeit belatedly, and is advancing rapidly on this path. We should not only look at Turkey's successes politically, we should see it as a matter of progress for Turkey, this is Turkey's success. Let's always look at the negative, the understanding that everything is going bad is a problematic understanding. Let's keep our self-confidence high, Turkey can achieve, if Turkey realizes an export of more than 100 billion dollars, when domestic and national automobiles take the stage, we should be proud of quickly passing the stages we left behind. I think progress on this path should increase our self-confidence.”
“Turkey will hopefully grow by around 10 percent at the end of this year”
Reminding that international organizations made negative statements as a part of the project carried out against Turkey, Bilgin said, “They all regretted it, they changed the expectations figures they announced soon. There is a project against Turkey in the Mediterranean, Libya, Syria and this whole geography. Let's try to understand the international powers a little bit, the country they kept under control for many years is getting out of control, and they are also surprised. Operations against Turkey are efforts to get it under control again. By the end of this year, I hope Turkey will grow by around 10 percent. I do not say this by chance, by analyzing Turkey's growth, by measuring the growth in which sectors and how, by measuring the value created by the domestic added value and labor, those who think negatively in Turkey should get rid of their prejudices," he said.
Adil Karaismailoğlu, Minister of Development and Infrastructure, who spoke in the program, said, “Our railways have a strategic importance beyond the economic and social life of this country and these lands. While many developed countries experienced economic contraction in 2020, when the effects of the pandemic were felt most severely, our economy continued its upward trend with a growth of 1.8 percent. With the 7.2 percent growth rate we achieved in the first quarter of this year, we continued the momentum we achieved last year. Our economy grew by 2021 percent in the second quarter of 21.7, making it the second fastest growing economy in the world. We will continue our stable growth until the end of the year. We owe this growth in our economy to the country's strong and stable management, a functioning economy, and a dynamic production system. Together with your efforts and efforts, we are coming out of this troubled process. With the collective bargaining agreements we signed, we will accelerate the production acceleration and help our country reach a stronger future. While realizing our goals and supporting the holistic development of our country, the most important issue for us is you who shed a lot of effort for this cause. In this respect, all parties showed great effort by showing goodwill and sincerity in order to protect your labor and sweat in the collective bargaining agreements signed. For the first year, 6 percent in the first 12 months, 6 percent in the second 5 months, and 6 percent in the first and second 5 months of the second year, along with inflation differences will also be taken into account. Thus, we will continue to protect our fellow workers against inflation. I wish good luck to the collective bargaining agreement," he said.
“Our Employees Are The Biggest Reason For The Wheels To Turn In The Kovid Era”
Türk-İş President Ergün Atalay said, “I entered this institution half a century ago. My late mother took me to the examination of the railways, we all ate bread from this institution. I had the opportunity to work with Vedat when he was the General Manager. Vedat Bey became the Minister of Labor and Social Security of the Republic of Turkey after 18 years. There is no problem when it holds a line. I have never separated workers and civil servants, we are on the same ship, we are working for the same ideal, we are working for this institution, this country to get a better point. During the Kovid period, we need to thank the healthcare workers, but even if the wheels are turning, the biggest reason for this is our employees. In that difficult period, our employees turned these wheels shoulder to shoulder. From now on, we will continue to work with pleasure for this country," he said.
General Manager of TCDD Taşımacılık AŞ Hasan Pezük, TCDD Deputy General Manager Metin Akbaş, TÜRASAŞ General Manager Mustafa Metin Yazar and railway workers also attended the program.