Thousands of Turkish pensioners from 55 cities who completed all requirements such as working years and paid all fees but don’t get paid a salary as they are under the 65 years old age limit staged a protest in Istanbul.
The workers complained that they “want their rights but not charity.”
The Turkish pensioners gathered in Istanbul’s Yenikapi district to air their demands and to protest that the Turkish government passes a law in parliament to reduce the pension age limit.
Association of Turkish Pensioner Encountering Age Limit (EYT-DER) President Gonul Boran Ozupak, warned the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that the work it has done is not enough and they will vote for whoever resolves the pensioners’ problem.
“The retirement is not a burden it is [a] worker’s right. Your (pensioners) struggle is a struggle for our labor and our future, said ” Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK) General Director Arzu Çerkezoğlu who supported the pensioners.
EYT member Cengiz Oyke, 48, who was part of the protest said that “this scream is the expression of our children who we couldn’t feed,” Turkish Evrensel Newspaper reported.
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party, Turkish Workers Party, GOOD Party, Metal-is Union, Petrol-is Union, and many other unions, political parties and NGO’s supported EYT members in Yenikapi.
The pensioners also slammed the Turkish public broadcaster TRT for not covering the protest and previous gatherings.
One of the pensioners explained that he completed 8 000 working days and was waiting to get a salary. He can’t work as she is disabled. Another pensioner Cengiz Oyke told Evrensel that he has two daughters and grandchildren. He can’t feed his family and they are eating only potatoes which have also become expensive.
CHP Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Candidate Ekrem Imamoglu who won the March 31 local election shared a video message on social media saying that he will fully support EYT members for them to get their salaries.
Imamoglu ruled the municipality for only 19 days but was forced to leave his seat as the Supreme Election Board took a decision to re-run the election on 23 June.
EYT member organized protests in Ankara recently and they announced that pensioners will continue to raise their voice until they get their rights.