eyt turkey 2

Retirement Age and Social Security

The debate surrounding the “Emeklilikte Yaşa Takılanlar” (EYT) issue in Turkey has garnered significant attention in recent years. EYT translates to “Those Stuck in Retirement Age” and refers to individuals who argue that they are unfairly affected by the current retirement age and social security system. In this article, we will delve into the EYT debate, examining its origins, key arguments, potential implications, and the broader context of social security in Turkey.

Understanding EYT

The EYT movement emerged as a response to the existing retirement age and social security regulations in Turkey. The country’s retirement system stipulates that individuals must fulfill certain age and contribution requirements to qualify for a full pension. This means that some individuals find themselves in a situation where they have reached the required age, but they have not contributed enough to meet the eligibility criteria.

Key Arguments

  1. Early Contributions: Proponents of the EYT movement argue that many individuals started working at a young age and have been contributing to the social security system for decades. However, due to changing regulations and economic challenges, they might not be able to meet the required contribution period by the time they reach the retirement age.
  2. Financial Hardship: EYT advocates often highlight the financial difficulties faced by those who are unable to access their pensions upon reaching the official retirement age. This situation can lead to issues such as unemployment, poverty, and reliance on family members for support.
  3. Inequality and Injustice: Critics of the current system argue that it disproportionately affects individuals who entered the workforce early, had interrupted career paths, or faced job insecurity. They see the current retirement age and contribution requirements as unjust and unequal, leading to frustration among affected individuals.
  4. Changing Economic Landscape: Supporters of EYT contend that the nature of work and employment has evolved over the years, with more individuals facing unstable job markets and frequent career changes. They argue that the retirement age should reflect these changes and accommodate different work patterns.

Potential Implications

The EYT debate has significant implications for both individuals and the broader social security system in Turkey.

  1. Financial Burden: Addressing the concerns of EYT proponents could put additional strain on the country’s social security budget. Providing pensions to individuals who have not met the full contribution period could have financial implications for the sustainability of the system.
  2. Policy Reforms: The EYT movement has prompted discussions about potential policy reforms. Policymakers need to carefully consider the balance between addressing the legitimate concerns of EYT supporters and ensuring the long-term viability of the social security system.
  3. Public Perception: The EYT debate has brought attention to the need for more flexible and inclusive retirement policies. Public sentiment on this issue could influence future policy decisions and shape the government’s approach to social security.

Broader Context of Social Security

The EYT debate sheds light on broader challenges and considerations within Turkey’s social security landscape.

  1. Aging Population: Like many countries, Turkey is experiencing demographic shifts, including an aging population. As the population ages, there is a growing need to assess and adapt retirement policies to ensure financial sustainability while meeting the needs of retirees.
  2. Social Safety Nets: The EYT issue highlights the importance of having robust social safety nets to support individuals who face challenges in meeting retirement requirements. Enhancing social assistance programs and unemployment benefits could help mitigate the impact of such situations.
  3. Employment Patterns: The changing nature of work, including freelance, gig economy, and part-time arrangements, underscores the necessity of flexible retirement policies that accommodate diverse career paths.
  4. Public Dialogue: The EYT debate emphasizes the significance of open and constructive public dialogue on matters of social security. Engaging with various stakeholders, including EYT representatives, experts, and policymakers, can lead to more informed and equitable policy decisions.


The EYT debate in Turkey serves as a microcosm of larger global discussions on retirement, social security, and the evolving nature of work. While addressing the concerns of those affected by EYT is crucial, any policy changes should be made within the context of ensuring the long-term stability of the social security system. Finding a balance between meeting the needs of individuals who have contributed to the system and safeguarding its financial future presents a complex challenge that requires careful consideration, collaboration, and a holistic approach to social security reform.



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