Guide dog of visually impaired advisor to CHP deputy not allowed into Turkish Parliament
ANKARAThe administration of parliament has refused to allow the guide dog of a visually impaired advisor to main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chair Veli Ağbaba to enter the parliament building.
The issue was brought forward by Ağbaba to parliament during a speech on June 13. The CHP deputy told parliament that the guide dog of his advisor Ali İlhan, who was assigned to his post in 2011, was not let into the parliament.
“For the last week, we have been trying to ensure that Ali İlhan’s dog can enter the parliament along with him, but unfortunately it is not being allowed,” Ağbaba said.
Upon this speech, parliamentary deputy speaker Akif Hamzaçebi from the CHP, who was presiding over the session, questioned why “streets dogs can enter the parliament but guide dogs cannot.”
“Your honor, unfortunately, guide dogs are not being let in. Let’s make a call out to [parliament] administrators from here,” Ağbaba said in response.
He also introduced a motion concerning the issue to parliament, demanding that the “problems of visually impaired people in Turkey are resolved.”
The CHP lawmaker stated that there were about 10 million physically disabled people in Turkey, making up around 12.5 percent of the population, according to Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) figures.
“By passing this motion we will give the message that we are respectful to the disabled, ensuring that our disabled people live freely and that everyone, especially the disabled, can join life as equal individuals,” Ağbaba said, emphasizing that the motion was “above politics.”
However, the motion put to the vote in parliament was not accepted and therefore was not included in the general assembly’s agenda.
“In parliament there are street dogs and cats, but unfortunately you cannot enter with your guide dog,” İlhan told daily Hürriyet after the incident.