THE REVIEW OF THE GEZI EVENTS IN THE CONTEXT OF ‘CRISIS MANAGEMENT’
“Crisis Management,” according to the Turkish Language Institution, means, “In the case of every national and international problem or a natural disaster that a country faces, it is the work of taking the necessary decisions to overcome the problem with a least damage” (1). The crisis management, according to the sixth clause of the Regulation of the Center for Crisis Management of Prime Ministry, is described as, “A series of actions that ranges from recognition of a crisis situation to taking the leading necessary decisions and implementing and to its following and checking” (2).
The crisis management, as it is clear from the descriptions, requires taking the events under the control in the beginning and normalizing the events with minimum damage. A crisis situation is a temporary situation as well as a process that requires awareness. From this point forth, it can be understood how it is important for the public administration.
Due to the Gezi events that have been continuing for over ten days, Turkey for the first time has faced a serious crisis period in which the people from different social groups have organized through the social networks and intensively involved in activities during this crisis that the press have also confused the minds of the public.
However, even when the dimension of events is tried to explain in the beginning of the protests, this problem has not perceived as a crisis, and the responsible for the protests has been tried to find. Therefore, a process that could not be controlled since the beginning and the dimension of the events gradually increased has occurred. Whereas, the protests could be taken serious and under the control in the beginning by “crisis management”. However, Turkey has not a planned crisis management system has caused the process of crisis extents.
If we consider the formation process of a crisis in two stages: In the first stage, a crisis begins to signal. Yet, the government either did not take this seriously or realize the situation. In this point, if it cannot be aware of the danger or taken it seriously, a crisis starts. Hence, after the Gezi events began, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated, “We had heard there would be some attempts against Turkey and the government before three months. It was not a surprise!” (3) Despite a signal was received towards the events would begin, not any precaution has taken. In the second stage, a crisis that cannot be taken under the control starts to become evident. When the events, which started in order to protect the Gezi Park, could not be taken under the control, it was transformed into a growing opposition movement against the political power by some various marginal groups involved in the events. The statements made by the government during the process raised the tension rather than solving the problem.
The Gezi events of which outcomes have not been taken seriously have drawn Turkey in a troubling process both in national and international arena, while the government was covering a good distance in many issues, especially the Kurdish issue.
The events in the Gezi Park in which not only internal dynamics but also external dynamics have a hand and are a process of multidimensional crisis has brought to light the requirement that Turkey that tries to have a voice in the international area and lives a fast process of change and transformation has to take the issues, which come into being possibly, under the control by developing a crisis management system without they transform into a crisis.
In this context, in order not to repeat this process again, it should be made serious studies in Turkey to establish a legal base for the crisis management. The existing of a law including the contents, principles, and processes of the crisis management is going to prevent uneasiness and chaos that may occur during a crisis. In this way, it will not be lived any problem about taking the process under the control. It is necessary to establish a crisis desk for determining the responsibilities and the needs to be done in terms of both the government and the demonstrators. It is a significant matter to predetermine the individuals who will be responsible for the crisis, and the consistency of the statements done by the authorities is a vital point that will affect on the public’s perception during the crisis. Here, it should be provided that the people reach true, current, and consistent news in order to prevent false information to be spread. All these efforts will be the most effective way in terms of scraping through the crisis.
*Expert of the Erasmus Program at Selcuk University, and PhD Candidate in the Department of Public Administration at Selcuk University
(1) Türk Dil Kurumu http://www.tdk.gov.tr/index.php?option=com_gts&arama=gts&kelime=kriz%20yönetimi&guid=TDK.GTS.518a5d253940a0.93669224
(2) Sağlık Bakanlığı, Başbakanlık Kriz Yönetim Merkezi Yönetmeliği, http://www.saglik.gov.tr/TR/belge/1-484/basbakanlik-kriz-yonetim-merkezi-yonetmeligi.html