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    Shame on humanity

    Hürriyet Haber
    05.02.2006 - 12:40 | Son Güncelleme: 05.02.2006 - 12:40

    A.K., 76-years-old, who claims to have worked as a prostitute since the time of Menderes’ government [1950], has applied to Istanbul Social Services (SSK) Old Age Pensions Department Directorate, for early retirement as a result of disability. Her hopes of retirement were lost, however, when the Okmeydanı Research and Training Hospital decided that she had “not lost at least 2/3 of her ability to work”. It was made clear in a letter sent to A.K. from Istanbul SSK Old Age Pensions Department Directorate, that she was not entitled to apply for disability allowance. In the letter dated November 21, 2005, the Okmeydanı Research and Training Hospital’s report was used as grounds for this decision.

    The only solution A.K. found was to write to the Minister of Work and Social Seucurity, Murat Başesgioğlu, pleading that she could not work due to health restrictions such as hyper-tension and osteoporosis, which has disabled her to the extent that she is not able to walk. In the letter, she goes on to say, “At the Okmeydanı Research and Training Hospital they did not even look me in the face, let alone examine me. If I am guilty, then so is the rest of society. Tell me, what is a 76 year-old ex-prostitute that has not lost her ability to work, supposed to do? This is not a shame to me, but to society.”


    A.K. is trying to survive in a small flat on the 2nd floor of a run-down building in Tarlabasi. Her windows consist of nylon sheets stuck onto the window frames. Because she is ill, she can only go down to Taksim Square when the weather is nice to sell bird seeds at 50 Kurus a plate. If she earns more than usual, she buys some bread and olives – a luxury for her.

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