Hacı Bişkin / Duvar
The government has turned down the application of sacked public employees to benefit from a cash aid distributed to low-income households impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
“Following my application, I have received the response of 'You have not been qualified to receive social support.' They are doing this because we have been dismissed by statutory decree [KHK]. We cannot get any aid from anywhere. And when we want to make our voices be heard, but they are not hearing us,” said a citizen only known by the initials H.K.Gov't backtracks on decision to deny short-term employment funds to sacked civil servant
H.K. is one of the thousands of people who were dismissed from their state positions by a decree issued under the state of emergency rule following the failed coup attempt of July 2016.
“I have no hope left [from the government]. I knew that they would not give this money to us when I heard of the cash aid in the first place. But still I had a hope,” said H.K.
The Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry announced earlier in April that they had so far provided a cash aid of 1,000 Turkish Liras (approximately $143) to 2.1 million low-income families. On April 19, Minister Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk announced that the financial aid would be extended to an additional 2.3 million households soon.
G.S., who has a disabled child, has filed an application twice to benefit from the 1,000 liras worth of cash aid. However, both of her applications were turned down. “Although all our conditions make us eligible to receive this aid, I have been turned down. They are treating us so since my husband was dismissed [with a KHK],” she said.
G.S. said that she and her husband were having a very difficult time making the ends meet as they have two children, one of whom is disabled.Spouse of sacked civil servant prevented from selling house
Many Turkish citizens dismissed in post-coup surges are still struggling to regain basic rights, such as the ability to work legally and have access to state pensions, health insurance and banking services. They have been for many years now demanding that their rights be fully restored.
"I am a citizen of Turkey. Then they should not get taxes from us [if the government is denying us of rights]. If I am contributing to this state in every way, then I expect it to help me in my difficult times,” said G.S.
A deputy of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has taken this issue to the agenda of the parliament.
In a parliamentary question addressed to Minister Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, HDP deputy Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu asked why the Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry has been denying sacked civil servants of their rights to benefit from the aid programs.
“We have been hearing from many people [sacked with statutory decrees] about this. They are applying to the Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry to receive social and financial help but their applications are denied,” Gergerlioğlu said.
He asked if the ministry turned down G.S.'s application and which reason the ministry cited while making this decision.
The deputy also inquired about the number of citizens who have applied to the ministry to benefit from the coronavirus aid package and the amount of money granted to them.