One in eight people in Turkey in need of aid: Family ministry

One in eight people in Turkey in need of aid: Family ministry

One in eight people in Turkey in need of aid: Family ministry One in every eight people in Turkey is in need of aid, according to statistics released by the Family and Social Policies Ministry upon a parliamentary question submitted by independent Ankara lawmaker Aylin Nazlıaka. 

The ministry said social aid was given to a total of 10,610,928 people in 2016, daily Birgün reported on June 23.

Nazlıaka asked the ministry about the number of citizens receiving social aid, to which the authorities said that aid worth over 32 billion Turkish Liras was distributed. 

According to the ministry, Istanbul, the southeastern provinces of Şanlıurfa and Diyarbakır were the top three provinces that received aid, while the northern province of Bayburt, the western province of Bilecik and the Black Sea province of Karabük were at the bottom of the list. 

Moreover, the ministry’s 2016 activity report released in the beginning of this year showed that 3,154,069 households benefited from social aid. 

Some 2,342,946 households are in need of regular aid and 2,046,888 households received aid temporarily, according to the ministry. 

The statistics also showed that 6,683,106 people couldn’t pay their debts due to the premium they are required to pay monthly to receive health services as part of their insurance. As a result, the debts of hundreds of thousands of people were erased after they criticized they were unable to receive health services. 

Speaking about the statistics, Nazlıaka said the increase in the amount of social aid under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was “aiming to manage poverty,” adding that the method “can’t pose a solution to the overall problem of poverty.” 

“While social aids are increasing, there are also serious doubts on these being abused. The widespread impression on injustices in the distribution of aid and the doubt on them not reaching the actual owners can’t be overlooked. Social aid can’t be transformed into a political gain,” Nazlıaka said.