Economic activity in the east and southeast has been negatively affected by terrorism since June 7. Ankara repeatedly stressed that the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is trying to create chaos in the region.
The real force that will start a new period in the region is Ankara. The physical and social renewal promoted by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım is important for both regional development and the social and political stability of the country.
The first step in physical and social renewal starts with renewing the region's rich architectural structures. With a rich historical and cultural inheritance, this period will lead to economic stimulation in the region too.
HOW CAN CITIES BECOME CENTERS OF ATTRACTION?
Investments made by Ankara are very important to show the people of the region that the state stands behind them. Although we do not know details of the project, we are told that these cities will become centers of attraction and will contribute to creating a hinterland.
Trade and economic centers will be established. The economic activities will vary according to the city. These will include agricultural and industrial activities as well as services and tourism.
The acceleration in investments will revive the economic life of the region and will also ensure social renewal. Therefore, the extent of the economic dimension reflecting on the social dimension will positively affect the hope and expectations of the people of this region.
SOCIAL POLICIES SHOULD BE A PRIORITY
Prime Minister Yıldırım's statements show that Ankara will support the region and that it prioritizes development in the region.
The increase in investment means that new trade sectors and job opportunities will be created too. Yet this is not sufficient. Universities have a lot of responsibilities in this respect; they need to provide vocational training. It is especially important that the children of the region continue their schooling.
The Family and Social Affairs Ministry has to urgently provide social assistance to those who have been left homeless and those who have had to leave school. As the target group is already specified, the only thing the social aid experts need to do is act fast in economic and social strengthening at a family level.
When I say social aid, I mean aid that will help these disadvantaged families recover in a short time. Long-term social aid should be designed in such a way that it caters to criteria and different fields.
For example, a minimum wage can be given to families that had to leave their jobs; the disadvantaged can be provided with basic needs; a connection system can be established between job seekers and employers.
Therefore, it is time for the east and southeast to be defined with different codes. Ankara is responsible for this coding. However, all political, social and economic actors should assume responsibility so that this coding is activated effectively.
Physical renewal will open many doors. Yet true change can only be made with the support of social renewal. The most important thing is that the people of the region need to feel the support and protection of the state.