THOUSANDS of Retired Age Barrier (EYT) won’t give up on their battle as they stormed into every corner of Ankara on Saturday to make their voiced heard.
The YET victims held a meeting to further discuss the challenges they have faced over the years – an issue of consternation in Turkey in the past few years. The issue at hand is that there are victims who could not manage to qualify for retirement, although they paid the required premiums for retirement following the resolution which was taken and accepted in 1999.
The large crowd saw other ordinary citizens failing to enter the cultural centre as it was packed to capacity by the YET victims. Before they packed the Nazım Hikmet Cultural Center in the suburb of Yenimahalle in Ankara, the victims visited Antıtkabir, the monumental tomb of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of modern Turkey and paid their tributes.
EYT victims get much-needed support from various sectors
The meeting was attended by several members who travelled from across Turkey. Due to the large crowd, there were LED monitors set up outside. The highly-charged up meeting was hoping to “desperately seek a hope of light for many victims.” Many victims could be heard from inside the cultural centre shouting slogans “EYT is here but where is government”, “Make voice to make heard Ankara,” “We are right, we are seeking our rights.”
The EYT victims and their families were also supported by many deputies from the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Good Party (İyi Party), unionists, non-governmental organization (NGOs) were among the attendees of the meeting.
Punishment through the ballot box
In their meeting, EYT victims gathered at Anıtkabir and stood in homage in front of the mausoleum of Atatürk.
According to a news report by Cumhuriyet, EYT victims said vowed to punish the government through the ballot box. Local elections will be held at the end of March in Turkey.
‘We will continue until we get results,’
At the meeting, EYTSYDD (the Social Assistance and Solidarity Association of Those Who Exposed Retirement Age Barrier) Chairman Gönül Boran Özüpak said they will continue with their struggle until results are achieved. Describing the EYT victims as a backbone of Turkey’s Özüpak, he said: “Living under this economic condition has turned out to be an ordeal.”
Mansur Yavaş addresses to EYT victims over his Twitter account
Mansur Javaş, Joint Ankara Metropolitan Mayoral Candidate of CHP and İYİ Party, took to Twitter and told the EYT they will pay the health expenses of EYT victims from the municipality budget. He stated they would pay the General Health Assurance (GSS) debts of them.
Pointing out he could not attend the meeting due to the Candidate Introductory Meeting, Yavaş noted they will do whatever in their power until a radical solution is found to EYT problems.
Suffering since 1999
The EYT victims have been struggling following the ‘backtrack operated regulation’ which came into effect in 1999. They could not be accepted as retirees, although they paid required premiums for retirement. As they did not take any conclusion, then gathered together and established the EYTSYDD. Foundation regularly organises meetings to make their voice heard by the general public and uncaring government.