A ceremony was held on Thursday in the capital Ankara as the government announced hiring another 2,937 people with disabilities for the public sector. The move aims to give more opportunities to the country’s disabled community, both in terms of employment and social inclusion.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended the ceremony held at the Presidential Complex and said in the past 19 years, under the governments of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the number of people with disabilities employed in the public sector reached nearly 192,000.
Those officially assigned to their posts in 81 provinces included civil servants with varying levels of education, from grade school to university level.
Under Turkish laws, every business employing 50 or more staff is required to allocate 3% of vacant positions to the disabled, while this rate is 4% for public agencies. People from the disabled community are required to attend a personnel selection exam exclusive to them for work in the public sector. For many in the community, employment is an incentive for equality as it helps them attain better social inclusion.
Erdoğan said at the ceremony that citizens with disabilities were "more visible" in both the public and private sectors and the government was also helping them start up their own businesses. He noted that some 3,200 disabled citizens benefited from free loans of up to $4,770 (TL 65,000) as part of the startup program.
"In the past, the disabled people of this country were confined to their homes, devoid of any humane treatment. Some disabled people were chained to their rooms and were not allowed to go out. Disabled people used to face mistreatment and harassment when they went out. Having a disabled member of the family used to mean an extra financial burden for households. Our government sought to resolve all these issues," he outlined.
Erdoğan noted that they prioritized financial aid to families with disabled individuals for their care at home, along with incentives for disabled students to participate in education.