Call For Road Safety: Remembering Ali Gargınsu

Demo demanding improved road safety - Commemorating Ali Garginsu's death

A demonstration was held in front of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport to raise awareness about traffic safety in memory of Ali Gargınsu, who died in a traffic accident ten years ago, Yeniduzen reports.

Banners reading “No More Alis Should Die” and “We Want Justice” were displayed, and families left black wreaths at the Ministry’s entrance. Some members of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) also participated in the protest.

CTP Youth Organisation President Çise Mevlit delivered a statement on behalf of the participating groups. She criticised the current state of traffic safety in the country, arguing that the government’s negligence has become intolerable. Mevlit called for the government’s resignation, citing the anniversary of Ali Gargınsu’s death on May 25, 2014 when 22-year-old driver Ali Gargınsu and 20-year-old Gizem Acet who was a pillion passenger lost their lives when Ali Gargınsu control of the motorcycle on a bend on the Kaplıca-Balalan road and crashed into the roadside barriers. Acet, who was not wearing a helmet*, died at the scene of the accident and Gargınsu passed away on the way to the hospital.

Ali’s pain remains fresh in our hearts. He and all those we’ve lost in traffic accidents are grim reminders of our country’s failures in traffic safety. We are here on the tenth anniversary of Ali’s death because we cannot bear to lose more lives“, Mevlit said.

Highlighting the longstanding neglect of road and traffic safety, Mevlit questioned the implementation of road projects promised in agreements with Turkey. She contrasted the situation with European countries, where comprehensive measures are taken to minimise traffic accidents. Mevlit criticised the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Erhan Arıklı, for the lack of action.

In the European Union, traffic safety is maintained through a multi-layered system. For example, Germany invests in extensive education programs, strict traffic controls, and advanced infrastructure. Countries like Norway and Sweden aim to eliminate traffic accidents with ‘Zero Vision’ policies. They have serious regulations for pedestrian safety, speed monitoring, and vehicle safety“, Mevlit noted.

Gizem Acet and Ali Gargınsu
[Gizem Acet and Ali Gargınsu]
By way of contrast, Mevlit pointed out that even the barriers on roadsides in the country can be deadly. She noted that despite speed being a major cause of accidents, operational radar systems were deactivated, and speed violations went unaddressed for months.

Addressing the government, Mevlit asked, “How many more lives must we lose before families stop suffering? When will infrastructure investments be prioritised over traffic fines? How many more Alis must die before we see justice for those lost in traffic accidents?

She argued that the lack of response towards traffic safety has reached an unacceptable level. She emphasised that even after ten years since Ali Gargınsu’s death, adequate measures have not been taken.

Is it acceptable for people unfamiliar with driving on the left side of the road to enter traffic so easily? Is driving on dark roads our right?” Mevlit asked, urging immediate action to prevent further tragedies.

Vowing to continue their struggle, Mevlit stated, “Every life lost is a result of inaction against negligent policies“. She called on the government to urgently implement traffic safety measures to honour Ali Gargınsu’s memory and protect other young people. She urged everyone to join in raising awareness and taking collective action.

Following the statement, families who lost loved ones in traffic accidents placed black wreaths at the Ministry’s door. Overcome with emotion, they said, “We want justice. Our hearts are broken, let other families not suffer, let the youth not die, let the roads not be soaked with blood..

Organisations supporting the protest included the Republican Turkish Party, its Youth and Women’s Organisations, the People’s Party, New Cyprus Party, Cyprus Turkish Pharmacists Association, Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Union (KTÖS), Cyprus Turkish Public Servants’ Union (KTAMS), Press-Sen, Alevi Culture Foundation, Green Peace Movement, Northern Cyprus Driving Standards-Traffic Education Institution, and the Peace Association.

*It became a legal requirement to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle in the TRNC on 1 October, 2011 [Ed.]

Yeniduzen

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