Approximately 2,504 people from Turkey's disabled community and the youth "under state protection" - a term used for children of disadvantaged families and orphans - were officially assigned to new jobs in the public sector yesterday.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hosted a ceremony at the Beştepe Presidential Complex in Ankara on the occasion, which is viewed as a major boost to Turkey's efforts for affirmative action in employment. The employment drive was announced in November, and those assigned jobs were selected with a draw.
The initiative spearheaded by the Family and Labor Ministry matched 2,504 people with varying education levels with jobs in the public sector. The ministry also provided jobs to 3,274 people under state protection for the first time in higher-level jobs for the disadvantaged community, such as teachers, engineers and nurses.
Stepping up efforts to address the problems of the disabled, who comprise about 7 percent of the population, the government strives to boost their employment, one of the many challenges the disabled face in Turkey, along with accessibility.
The government managed to increase the employment of the disabled in the public sector in one decade and currently employs 53,964 disabled civil servants, while it has helped recruit more than 380,000 disabled citizens in the private sector since 2002. A scheme initiated by the government also gives loans of up to TL 50,000 ($9,500) to disabled citizens seeking to set up their own business. The loans are financed by fines paid by companies violating regulations that make employment of the disabled mandatory.
Addressing the assignment ceremony yesterday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said jobs for the disabled would have extra benefits such as an option for the hired personnel to switch to similar jobs in another city.