TRNC marks Disability Day
HUNDREDS marched to mark International Day of People with Disability in an event organised by the Cyprus Turkish Teachers’ Union (Ktös), which called for implementation of legislation on special education and equal rights for those with special needs.
Monday’s march in Gazimağusa started at the Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) roundabout and ended in front of the Mağusa Development Academy. Students, teachers and families took part, as well as pupils from local schools and the town’s Special Education Centre.
Support also came from a range of organisations including the Cyprus Turkish Public Sector Workers’ Union (Ktams), Gazimağusa Municipality, the EMU trade union Daü-Sen, the Famagusta Walled City Association, Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Social Democratic Party (TDP) and the Akova Women’s Association.
Participants shouted slogans such as “There is no obstacle between us” and “Do not obstruct but support”.
Ktös secretary Burak Maviş said in a statement: “We have no law, no office and no future. We are going to build all of these one by one.”
Mr Maviş expressed disappointment that no representative of the National Education and Culture Ministry had turned up for the event, and criticised the ministry for failing to allocate funds for the country’s six centres for people with special needs.
However, in a statement on the same day, National Education and Culture Minister Cemal Özyiğit said they had given a “separate importance” to special education and had allocated all of the “household support” part of the budget to it.
He said they had bought two vehicles for disabled pupils, which would come into service soon, and said work on the Special Education Law — which aims to give disabled pupils access to education and to improve their lives — had reached its final phase and would be given legal status “very soon”.