For first time in 3 years motion in Turkish parliament passes despite AKP opposition

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Turkish Parliament / AFP PHOTOS

A motion to investigate problems encountered by people who are unable to retire due to the age limit of retirement despite having fulfilled other criteria has passed in the Turkish parliament despite opposition from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), marking the first time such a thing has happened in several years, the Diken and Dokuz8 news websites reported on Wednesday.

As a result, a parliamentary commission of inquiry is to be set up to look into the issue.

Reports pointed out that this is the first time in several years that a motion put forward by opposition MPs was passed over the opposition of the AKP.

The last time such a thing occurred was in 2015, when an opposition motion was passed due to the accidental support of AKP members.

Before that, another one was passed in 2014 in a general assembly session during which opposition MPs happened to outnumber the AKP deputies.

The issue of people denied retirement due to age limits has long been on the agenda of opposition parties.

The ruling AKP has been opposed to proposals to take action on the grounds that it would put a heavy burden on the budget.

Speaking on the subject during his speech at his party’s group meeting on Tuesday, Turkish President and AKP Chairman Recep Tayyip Erdoğan claimed that the campaign concerning retirement age limits is driving the social system to disaster.

“Nowhere in the world is retirement at the age of 38 possible. There is no place for fatigue, laziness and idleness in our book. We do not condone early retirement in our social security system, but it is an available remedy for those politicians who are willing to benefit from it,” Erdoğan said.

In response, Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu denied claims that resolving the issue would cost an additional TL 750 billion (around $125 billion).

“You deny citizens their retirement, yet you spent $35 billion on the Syrians,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in reference to government statistics on expenditures for Syrian refugees.

“And then there is the claim that they will end up receiving double salaries. You also receive a double salary. So is it OK when you do it but not OK when the ordinary citizen does? Early retirement exists around the world.” Kılıçdaroğlu added.

The motion was submitted by the İYİ (Good) Party, and against 135 opposing votes from AKP deputies, 145 votes were cast in favor by all four opposition parties including the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), whose chairman Devlet Bahçeli had just announced on Tuesday that they would not renew an alliance with the AKP for local elections in March 2019.

After the vote MHP’s parliamentary representative Erhan Usta was dismissed from his duty by Bahçeli.

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