26 July Press Statement

Dear members of the press, dear friends,

Thank you for not leaving us alone today.

We are here to be the voice of our elderly people who have been neglected and abused for a long time in our country and to say to the Government that ENOUGH is ENOUGH!!

While the number of our elderly people in need of care is increasing day by day, while there is not even a single place left in nursing homes, we CONDEMN the state for not building the Lapta Care Home for 12 years, and for not repairing Kalkanlı Care Home and not proving care to more elderly people!!

The situation of private nursing homes is even more deplorable. In these difficult economic conditions, they take care of our elderly people with social assistance salaries of 5000 TL per month, given by the state, without any government support. Today, the cost of care for an elderly person in a nursing home is at least 15,000 TL. The 5-6 thousand TL social assistance salary you pay does not even feed the elderly, Mr. Minister of Labor, Mr. Prime Minister. We’ve been waiting for you to fix this for five years. In this economic crisis, you have pushed our elderly and nursing homes into misery. YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE!!

You have done nothing to improve private  care homes. You said they are private, you stepped back. But you sent the poor, disabled and sick old people that even the state could not take care of to these homes. Even during the pandemic period, you left private nursing homes alone.

Our orphaned elderly people staying in nursing homes cannot access the state’s health services. Our poor elderly people are neglected, abused and alone in state hospitals because they do not have a companion. Alone, without even their diapers changed, their human dignity has been broken, they are waiting to die and praying to be saved. Yes, we CRY OUT for exactly these!!

You knew what was going on in the Sınıırüstü Care Home, dear authorities! The audit reports were at hand, WHY DID YOU IGNORE CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY? You told us that place is private as well. You didn’t care, you didn’t care if the old people were hungry, neglected, had scabies or corona. That is, until that terrible video appeared and was covered by the press. Otherwise, you would still be watching Sınırüstü Nursing Home from afar today.

It’s been exactly a year and a half. You still haven’t repaired the Sınırüstü Nursing Home. Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, you have left your responsibility to the Contractors’ Union and the sponsors. As the state, you did not even go and inspect what was done. Is this your understanding of a SOCIAL STATE? Does this state have no dignity?”

You said there is no law to raise the standards of nursing homes and care homes for the elderly, we made a law. It will be discussed in parliament today. We want everyone to know that none of the currently existing nursing homes meet the standards required by this law. We would like to ask the Prime Minister and the Minister of Labor, how will you go about raising the standards of nursing homes as required by law? DO YOU HAVE A ROAD MAP?

Will you give land to nursing homes for the construction of buildings? Will you give credit? What do you plan to do for the training of the personnel who will work in this field? Did you allocate financial resources to support nursing homes for the 2024 fiscal year budget you are working on? WE WANT ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS!!

Today, 12,772 people retired from social insurance in our country receive pensions below the minimum wage. These elderly people will also be in need of care in the coming years. The monthly salaries of these elderly people will not be enough to receive care either at home or in a nursing home. Are you aware of this, MINISTER OF LABOR? Mr. PRIME MINISTER, what kind of care do you promise to our elders? We demand that the government now develop a public policy for the elderly and allocate funds from the budget for the fiscal year 2024 to implement this policy.

A care worthy of human dignity is our most natural HUMAN RIGHT. WE ARE REMINDING YOU!!

PUT A STOP to the misery, neglect and abuse of the elderly!!

As the Association of Elderly Rights and Mental Health, we would like to thank all the associations, political parties, institutions and organizations below that supported us in this action.

  1. Akova Women’s Association
  2. Alzheimer’s Association
  3. Independent Youth Association
  4. The Road to Independence
  5. Republican Turkish Party
  6. EMU Union
  7. Denkay Başel Social Group Foundation
  8. Universal Patient Rights Association
  9. Power Union
  10. Association of Polyphonic Choirs
  11. Cyprus Turkish Bar Association
  12. Cyprus Turkish Medical Association
  13. Union of Turkish Cypriot Engineers and Architects Chambers
  14. Cyprus Turkish Civil Servants’ Union
  15. Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Union
  16. Turkish Secondary Education Teachers’ Union
  17. Queer Cyprus Association
  18. Larnaca Turkish Women’s Union
  19. Famagusta Initiative
  20. Famagusta Women’s Center Association
  21. Famagusta Walled City Association
  22. Famagusta Cultural Association
  23. Mormenekşe Women’s Union Association
  24. Refugee Rights Association
  25. Free Art Theater and Culture Association
  26. Left Movement
  27. Socialist Democracy Party
  28. Yeniboğaziçi Women’s Association

Photo: Haber Kıbrıs

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