ANKARA – Forty-six years after the first agreement between Turkey and Belgium was signed they have put pen to paper on a new social security agreement.
The new agreement was signed by Belgium's Social Affairs and Public Health Minister Laurette Onkelinx and Turkey's Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Celik at the Labor Ministry´s conference center, Ankara, Turkey. It covers things such as healthcare and pensions and Onkelinx emphasized that people of workers of Turkish origins in Belgium will now have the same rights as other workers from EU countries.
Speaking at the ceremony, Celik said the trade between two nations amounted to $6.4 billion and that the “ministry wants to open an office in Belgium to help Turkish people in solving their working conditions and problems. I hope we will make it within a short time.”
Onkelinx added that Belgium supports Turkey´s wish to join the European Union and that they believe it will be a very important step for world peace.
In the 1960s, Belgium actively encouraged immigration from Turkey to meet its employment needs as it enjoyed an era of rapid economic expansion. The immigrants were welcomed as "guest workers" when Turkey signed a bilateral agreement with the country in July 1964.
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