Turkey: Phased Development of Policies and Programs for the Elderly
The old-age pension system in Turkey is noteworthy because of its advanced level of development in spite of a youth-dominated society and limited financial resources available for programs for the elderly. The proportion of workers and their dependents and survivors who are covered by social insurance is relatively high and there are beginnings of successful expansion to rural areas. Health care provisions for pensioners and their dependents are also fairly well established, although public social services for older persons are only just commencing.
Income maintenance and health care programs for the elderly owe much of their success to a 1961 constitutional proviso (Article 60) and subsequent amendments that require the state to assure all of its citizens protection from the risk of the loss of income due to disability, old age, and death. Everyone has a right to social security and the state assumes the obligation of ensuring that right ( Danisoglu, 1987). The law, however, allows for the mandate of state intervention to be fulfilled on an incremental basis over an unspecified period of time.
Moreover, current policy does not advocate a rush to create comprehensive, centrally managed government programs for the elderly. Although the state accepts the obligation to develop policies and programs that will assist the elderly, it promotes the family as the basic unit of care. In this context, the government has deemphasized social services that can be rendered by family