Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered an address on equal employment opportunities for disabled citizens at a conference entitled "No Handicaps for Employment" held by the Ministry of family and Social Policies and the Student Selection and Placement Center (ÖSYM) at the Chamber of Commerce Congress Center in Ankara. Erdoğan expressed the importance they, as a government, place on providing equal employment opportunities for disabled citizens, by saying that he does not consider this to be an act of kindness but instead our national duty.
Erdoğan went on to relay the following messages during his delivery on equal employment rights for disabled citizens:
"Our society should not perceive our handicapped brothers as being victims of fate. They can also contribute to this society. They can be anything; including psychologists, sociologists, engineers, writers and performers. It all depends on faith and confidence. The concept of impossible and unreachable will have no place in this nation's dictionary.
A country, a nation cannot solely be powerful as a result of its economy, strong foreign policy and forceful military. What makes a country great is the confidence of each member of that nation."
WE ARE A GREAT NATION: "Not a single member of my nation will remain insecure. If we are going to be a great country, this is how we are going to do so. We will no longer be a nation that exerts its energy on virtual threats, fears, strife and most importantly on terrorism. Instead, we will be a country that exerts energy on production, development, further democracy and further peace."
THAT WOULD BE FASCISM: "You cannot determine standards for others. You also cannot establish standards for citizenship of this nation. To do so would be racism, segregation and fascism. To push someone aside because they cannot see, to marginalize someone due to their ethnic roots or to ostracize someone for their religious beliefs is in no way humane. As a government, our stance is clear. We love all creations because they were created by God."
CONSTITUTIONAL ASSURANCE: "The conditions to ensure the rights of the disabled are now under constitutional assurance. In 2002, 5,777 disabled civil servants were employed. As of March, this figure has now reached over 33,000. With a second series of appointments, this year there will be over 35,000 citizens with disabilities employed. This means that the total number of disabled employees in both the public and private sector has now gone from 49,000 to 101,000. The number of special education students has also risen from 83,000 to 240,000."
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