| Politics |Haber Kıbrıs

THEY SAY THEY’RE GOING TO GIVE IMPORTANCE TO EDUCATION AND MERIT WHEN HIRING IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR! DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR

ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ (GREEK) TÜRKÇE (TURKISH)

“Don’t believe everything you hear” is what my mother used to say, with a gesture of her hand over her head, whenever she heard something she didn’t believe or when something turned out to be just the opposite of what was said.

She used the same expression for sweet-tongued people who could influence you with their words and get you into trouble, warning us to be careful.

I would deliberately mention things I knew she would never believe just so I could hear her say those words; I would get the answer I expected: “Hear it but don’t believe it…”

In other words, listen to everything but do not believe all that you’ve heard…

I have adopted this expression, which I have been hearing since I was a child, after becoming a journalist too.

When I first started in the profession, I told my mother, “Mom, I’m doing just as you used to tell me, I am listening to everything but not believing in everything. This is just what our profession requires. As journalists, we need to be sceptical”…

However, we have come to a point in our profession where we have started to hear everything and almost never believe…

Because this country has become a “paradise of broken promises”… In fact, it’s incorrect to refer to this place as a paradise, it would be better if we referred to it as a “hell of broken promises”…

Unfortunately, declarations made in election manifestos, vows made at election rallies, and goals listed in government programmes, do not turn into reality; it’s as if they are written on water…

It’s not just these, when in office the country’s administrators also make many promises, “we’re going to do this, we are going to do that,” but either they are never realised or you go mad waiting until some little fragments of those promises are fulfilled.

Let alone the promises, the vows they fail to honour, they hurt the public by failing to do what they are supposed to do.

You get the feeling you’re being made a fool of when you’re being told things.

One feels like screaming out loud, “You expect me to believe this?”…

Where did all this come from? Where do you think, it was Prime Minister Ünal Üstel’s words, “Importance will be given to education when hiring staff to government offices, legal arrangements will be made for merit to be applied when giving promotions,” which reminded me of the expression, “hear it but don’t believe it”…

The Prime Minister gave hints of “Public Reform”, in addition to giving importance to education and merit, he said that legal arrangements will be made on the relocation of public employees if necessary, and arbitrary relocations will be prevented…

There’s more; he said that legal work will be initiated to institutionalise the ministries and the departments operating under the ministries will no longer be changed during coalition negotiations…

The Prime Minister is saying; they will discuss with their coalition partners the issue of transferring personnel from government offices that are overstaffed to other departments where there are shortages…

Do you really believe that any of these changes are going to take place? Do you believe that UBP [National Unity Party] wants such arrangements? I don’t believe it at all…

So, UBP is to introduce a system whereby it won’t hire people, eh? An adjustment that will not hire people based on their party affiliation, which the current system won’t be able to undermine? Is this not against the very purpose of UBP’s existence?

So, UBP will attach importance to merit in promotions, eh? It will allow a director or an administrator that is not from UBP to retain his/her post? So it won’t hire people who worked for the election of the Prime Minister, the ministers or in other words for UBP but instead, people from another party will retain their position based on merit?

Hah, the world would have to turn upside down for that… They would never want such a thing, but let’s say the Prime Minister and his cabinet insist on introducing these changes, the party members would turn the party on its head. After all, they are not accustomed to such things…

Those running the party shouldn’t hire people based on their political affiliations, why are they still doing so, they are making use of every opportunity, they shouldn’t but they’re doing it anyway.

They could apply merit if they wanted to, but they choose not to. In fact, put aside the removal from duty of individuals from another party, they are violating the principle of merit within their party, claiming “this one is the other’s man, this one worked harder [during the elections], this one has a stronger backing,” appointing undeserving people. They shouldn’t do it… There is no need to pass legislation for this, they should define principles and refrain from such actions but is that possible? How else are they going to set the balances within the party? The party’s damn balance?

Other ministers take turns appointing administrators so that their party members receive higher severance pay or salary when they retire. Why do they make such appointments which are both unethical and incur losses on state funds?

So, do you want legislation to prevent public servants from transferring to other government offices? Well then prevent those who call ministers or their MP friends for favours asking to be transferred to another office just because “their job is too difficult.” Don’t spoil your party members, don’t indulge them. It’s in your hands to put an end to this but you’re still doing it…

You created the system that, despite staff shortages, allows people to reject or put in transfers because the work is too demanding. Look there is currently a strike at the Traffic Department due to lack of personnel, why don’t you do something about it if you’re so keen on addressing this issue?

You held a Council of Ministers meeting in İskele (Trikomo) and after you said you would be having such Council of Ministers meetings in all the districts you accidentally mentioned, “you shall be meeting with your fellow party members.” Your mouth gave you away. You blurt out what’s on your mind.

What do you mean when you say you will be holding Council of Ministers meetings in the different districts and will be meeting with UBP members? Is the government only the government of UBP members? This has been said without even considering that DP [Democratic Party] and YDP [Rebirth Party] are also in the coalition. The government or the Council of Ministers does not belong to the supporters of UBP, DP or YDP; it belongs to the people. The Council of Ministers does not convene for your party but for all the people within the community, but your tongue has given you away, you confessed that you will be meeting with your party members after holding meetings in the districts.

The pressure exerted on the Economy Minister by party members, to hold a meeting at the Ministry of Economy so that personal demands can be conveyed, clearly shows that your party will not be successful in introducing radical decisions or legislation on the issues you have mentioned.

We see in the media from time to time, that “the head of [the party’s] various bodies are in an uproar because the minister refused to receive them.” Actually, a minister who refuses to receive heads of the party’s organs at his/her ministerial post is doing the right thing but at the same time, is putting himself/herself at risk, because that is what the party members are accustomed to, the party’s business always comes before the country’s affairs.

Furthermore, some of the things voiced by the Prime Minister were included in earlier work carried out on “Public Reforms” but UBP was not happy with those proposed reforms because, for example, it had envisaged the scrapping of the system of “appointing or dismissing public officials by triple governmental decree”. [Translators note: A system whereby individuals are appointed or removed from top government posts with the joint signatures of the relevant minister, prime minister, and president] UBP would never give up the system of appointment by triple decree… Because taking on a post with only one undersecretary and an executive secretary, without being able to change all department heads would not serve their interests…

I don’t believe any of the things being said, in fact, I think that the Prime Minister doesn’t want any of these things, but is saying them just to look good. He is saying these things just so that people can say, “Look at all the good things he wants to introduce.” Like I said, in the past we did not believe everything we heard, today, we don’t believe anything we hear.

Source: THEY SAY THEY’RE GOING TO GIVE IMPORTANCE TO EDUCATION AND MERIT WHEN HIRING IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR! “DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR”

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ALİ BATURAY | HABER KIBRIS
Ali Baturay was born in Klavia (Alanici) village of Larnaca on 14 October 1968. He studied journalism. He holds a master’s degree focusing on “New Media and Changing Newspapers and Journalism in the Northern Part of Cyprus”. He worked for Halkın Sesi Newspaper between 1986-1995, for Yenidüzen Newspaper between 1995-1998 and for Kıbrıs Newspaper for 22 years, between 1998-2020. He worked as news director, managing editor and editor-in-chief at Kıbrıs Newspaper. He started working at the digital newspaper Haber Kıbrıs in February 2020. Currently, he works as the general editorial coordinator of Haber Kıbrıs. He writes daily columns and is the producer of a programme titled “Markaj” at Haber Kıbrıs Web TV during week days.

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