Retirees Solidarity Union: Outbreak measures caused discrimination

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  • 16:31 25 March 2020
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İSTANBUL - A retirees union has reacted to discriminative social media messages and attacks on older people for not abiding by the curfew declared due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While authorities have been advising people to stay home during the pandemic, the Ministry of Interior on Saturday (March 21) imposed a curfew for people over 65 years of age, who are known to be at higher risk for the Covid-19 disease.
However, older people's reluctance to stay home has led to discriminatory messages on both conventional and social media and attacks on the streets. At least two people have been detained for verbally and physically attacking older people. TV channels have been extensively reporting on older people violating the curfew and police officers taking them to their homes.
"Official messages to avoid coronavirus and the spread of coronavirus should have been for everyone regardless of age," the Retirees Solidarity Union said today (March 25) in a statement.
"We have come to this point with the official mentality that considers elderliness a disease, the elderly a burden on the economy, and removes the elderly out of social life with the economic and social policies it carries out.
"It is manifest that one out of every five people has diabetes, the risk of a heart attack falls to 40-45 years old, 13 million are employed under wages below the hunger limit, more than four million young people are unemployed and unable to have a healthy and balanced diet.
"While this is the case, the fact that the first statement for coronavirus outbreak measures being on the elderly has led young people to discriminate against the elderly and to think that they pose a risk to their health."
The statement also noted that many people over 65 years of age still work and play an active role in society, taking part in social and cultural events.
"We strongly condemn the official statements that do not see the facts, deny science, labor and all values, and behaviors, attitudes and discourse towards the elderly in social life. We listen to and apply the official statements by the Science Committee. We say, 'Stay home Turkey'!"