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To the honoured PRESS, PUBLIC and the headquarters of the political parties!

27 March 2023 17:05

On Sunday, 14 May 2023, one of the most important elections in Turkey's history will take place. In this context, we already wish for a smooth process with maximum democratic participation of our people. However, as people with disabilities, we are aware that the process of political participation and representation faces many obstacles. Like millions of citizens in this country, we want to go through this process without obstacles. Both on the road to the polls and on Election Day, we call on all people with disabilities to embrace their political will and support political parties and candidates that seek solutions to the problems of people with disabilities.

Nevertheless, under the conditions of the earthquake and the economic crisis, the candidacy, nomination and voting rights of persons with disabilities, most of whom belong to the impoverished majority, are being disregarded by many sectors and political parties. The unresolved problems in education, health, employment, transport, accessibility and other areas for people with disabilities are due to the fact that the rights of people with disabilities to political participation and representation are not recognised. The main reason for the delay in the implementation of accessibility laws since 2005 is the dominance of decision-makers who lack awareness of disability issues. Without disabled people being the subject of the political battle waged on behalf of disabled people, without their inclusion in the decision-making processes and without stronger political representation of disabled people, the problems are either postponed or postponed. The situation where disabled citizens are overlooked in the second century of the Republic must come to an end.

The representation of the known 10 million disabled citizens in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey is unfortunately still symbolic. We do not want to see a process where the decision makers in the mechanisms of political parties have a conservative view, do not open space for disabled candidacies and nominations and do not nominate disabled people for electable positions.

We demand that all political parties select candidates who will put the voice and discourse of disabled people living in Turkey on the parliamentary agenda, fight against conservatism and discrimination, and seek solutions to the problems of disabled people. This demand is the demand of ten million disabled people and millions of members of disabled families. We are already announcing that we will present our report studies to the disabled public before the local elections to identify the political parties that do not take this demand into account. We will no longer tolerate policies being made in the name of disabled people without their participation. It is both a democratic imperative and necessary for the resolution of long-delayed problems that all decision-makers and political parties nominate disabled representatives for electable positions in a proportion compatible with the disabled population.

With all due respect to the public.