In cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, the Association of Elderly Rights and Mental Health and the Cyprus Turkish Retirement Association, an introducing meeting was held to find a way for development of social policies for the elderly population in our country and to create social awareness.
Minister of Labor and Social Security Hasan Taçoy, President of the Association of Retirement Özer Çelik, President of the Association of Elderly Rights and Mental Health Hatice Jenkins, members of the Association of Retirement, Association of Retired Policemen, Retired Non-Commissioned Officers and Fighters Association and officials of the Ministry attended the meeting hosted by the Cyprus Turkish Retirees Association at the place of the Association of Retirees.
In his speech at the opening of the meeting, Özer Çelik, the President of the Retirees Association, expressed his desire for the elderly rights, which are accepted in the countries of the world, to see the value they deserve in our country and expressed that they were happy to host the first meeting organized to cooperate with the members of the Elderly Rights and Mental Health Association and the representatives of the Ministry, especially during the June 30 Pensioners Week.
Reminding that they work in coordination with the Association of Retired Police Officers, Retired Non-Commissioned Officers and Fighters Association to protect the earned rights and interests of retirees, Çelik said that until 2019, the Coordination Board of Retirees’ Associations met routinely and formed public opinion by announcing the problems of pensioners to the relevant authorities.
Stating that as the T.C Pensioners Association, they desire the revival of this council and are ready to make the necessary contribution, Çelik said that they are pleased to inform both the Elderly Rights Association and the Ministry officials about the problems of their members.
Pointing out that retirement which coincides with aging, is a period that people face health cost increment, Çelik stated that the health expenditures of people in this age group have increased. Referring to the fact that due to the loss of vital skills of some of the elderly during the retirement period, the elderly who are deprived of family care have to hire caregivers in their own homes, Çelik said:
“Elderly care homes, rest homes and rehabilitation centers should be established in sufficient quantity and quality, and all elderly people should be provided with access to these centers. Most of our pensioners in our country have to provide financial assistance to their children working in the private sector due to the economic conditions, inflation and foreign exchange in our country, which adversely affects the living standards of our pensioners. The vast majority of our pensioners need to take care of themselves while having to take care of their grandchildren, which restricts their freedom of movement and ability to act independently.” Stating that they believe that with the transition to a full-day education system and the opening of state-supported kindergartens for young children, grandparents can get rid of this burden and have the opportunity to have a better quality of life, Çelik said: “We believe that the Ministry of Labor and Social Security will take the initiative to solve these and similar problems of our retirees and elderly people, and we thank the ministry officials who initiated this meeting.”
Hatice Jenkins, President of the Association of Elderly Rights and Mental Health, pointed out that the problems of the elderly have been ignored in the society until today, and thanked the Minister of Labor and Social Security Hasan Taçoy for having a vision that deals with the problems of the elderly and attaches importance to their ideas in the society.
Emphasizing that the most urgent problem of elderly people is the situation of nursing homes, Jenkins said: “With the Cross-Border Care Home, the urgency of these issues emerged overnight. There are very few nursing homes, and there is a confusion of authority among government agencies. We will move forward to improve this process with the contribution of us and you who have set our hearts on this work. ” she said.
Pointing out that the elderly are cared by untrained caregivers in homes and this is an important problem, Jenkins said: “We have a responsibility to give our elderly the care they deserve. As an association, we are ready to cooperate with pensioners and learn about your problems in order to improve nursing homes, to improve the laws, to provide training to caregivers, to invest in this sector and to support them by the state. We want to benefit from the savings and experiences of pensioners and to support intergenerational solidarity and to make you have a more productive, healthy and active old age.” Jenkins concluded her remarks by thanking those who contributed in the holding of the meeting.
Minister of Labor and Social Security Hasan Taçoy thanked the members of pensioners’ associations for their participation in the meeting. Explaining that they want to discuss what can be done to diversify the services to be provided to pensioners and the elderly through the Department of Social Services, and to increase the quality of life by bringing them together, Taçoy said that Nazım Hikmet said, “You will take living so seriously, for example, you will plant olives at seventy, not because you do not believe in death, but because the side of living is dominant,” and that the elderly are at the age they feel and that the elderly come together with different activities. He emphasized that the opportunities should be used to increase their enthusiasm for life. Pointing out that a similar practice has been implemented at the University of Kyrenia as a 60-year-old plus refreshment university and that people over a certain age are engaged in activities at the university to renew themselves, Taçoy said that increasing the opportunities to be offered to the elderly will give him happiness.
Reminding that the Ministry of Labor and Social Security is a ministry that touches every period of human life both in terms of the social security system and social service practices, Taçoy said that a survey study has been prepared to take into account the opinions and suggestions of the members of the association and that this survey will guide the determination of policies for the elderly, and that the synergy and cooperation that will be created with the relevant associations will be at the point of implementing new projects. Taçoy concluded his remarks by celebrating the June 30 World Pensioners Week of all pensioners.