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42 pct of disabled quota in public jobs unfilled.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- The total quota for disabled people in public jobs is still vacant by 42 percent, and the Ministry of Education comes first, with 15,045 spots reserved for disabled employees remaining empty, Turkish Healthcare Workers' Union (TE-rk Say-lyk-Sen) Chairman Eunder Kahveci emphasized on the International Day of People with Disability, held every Dec. 3.

According to the current Labor Law and Regulation on the Employment of Disabled People, employers in the private sector who employ more than 50 employees in the workplace must ensure at least 3 percent of the employees they hire are disabled. This figure is 4 percent for public institutions. If they do not meet this quota, they must pay a fine of TL 1,519 per month, which is collected and used for projects such as vocational training, rehabilitation and employment for disabled people. In order to encourage companies to hire more disabled people, the Treasury also pays half of every disabled person's insurance premium in addition to the usual percentage.

Speaking to Today's Zaman on the International Day of People with Disability, a day used to highlight the problems of disabled people, Kahveci said that despite this law, 42 percent of the quota reserved for disabled workers is still unoccupied in public work, adding: "The total quota of disabled public servants is 55,334, but only 32,021 disabled people have been employed. This means that 23,545 persons, corresponding to 42 percent of the total, are left unemployed."

15,045-person quota unfilled at Ministry of Education

Giving some further figures about unfilled quotas in public institutions, Kahveci said a 15,045-person quota for disabled employees is waiting to be filled at the Ministry of Education. The Ministry of Education is followed by the Religious Affairs Directorate with 2,021 unfilled posts and then the Ministry of Justice with 1,545 unfilled positions. The Public Health Agency of the Ministry of Health has 1,310 unfilled spots. Stating that the number of public institutions that do not have even one disabled employee is 21, Kahveci said the unfilled posts should be filled as soon as possible.

Speaking to Today's Zaman, Turkish Association of the Handicapped (TSD) Chairman E[currency]E-krE- Poyraz said that the requirements of the Labor Law and the Regulation on the Employment of Disabled People have not been enforced, as the quotas mentioned in the law are still unfilled and many disabled people are jobless.

On accessibility, which is one of the biggest problems faced by disabled people, Poyraz said: "A law [Law 5378] was adopted to address the accessibility problems of the disabled. This law imposed obligations on municipalities to address deficiencies in the provision of access for handicapped people. There was a five-year time limit on implementing the law. This period was extended to eight years. Eight years have passed, but there is still no improvement in accessibility in Turkey."

Abdurrahman Kurtaslan, president of the Federation of Disabled Associations (EDF), speaking to Today's Zaman, said disabled people have difficulty accessing education, health and social services, adding that the government has a responsibility to provide the disabled with easy access to public services. On accessibility, Kurtaslan said the government introduced Law 5378 to ensure accessibility and also stipulated a time limit, but added that the government has postponed this limit twice since the law's adoption in 2005. "I want to call on the government to be more sincere in its efforts for the disabled population."

Meanwhile, many politicians gave public messages on the International Day of People with Disability. Speaking during his party's parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an said his government has always tried to create a more accessible country for its disabled citizens. President Abdullah GE-l said that the state's priority should be to improve disabled people's quality of life and offer them greater opportunities. The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahceli, said that the government must provide more employment for disabled people.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Dec 3, 2013
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