General legal framework

AuthorKadriye Bakirci
2 General legal framework
2.1 Constitution
2.1.1 Constitutional ban on sex discrimination
Article 10, paragraph 1 of the Turkish Constitution bans all types of discrimination including
sex discrimination. According to this paragraph, all individuals are equal without any
discrimination before the law, irrespective of language, race, colour, sex, political opinion,
philosophical belief, religion and sect, or any such considerations.14
Article 70 of the Constitution provides that every citizen of Turkey has the right to enter
public service. No criteria other than the qualifications for the office concerned will be
taken into consideration for recruitment into public service.15
The Constitution also states that state bodies and administrative authorities are obliged to
act in compliance with the principle of equality before the law in all their proceedings
(Article 10/5). No privilege shall be granted to any individual, family, group or class (Article
Since the international agreements that have been duly put into effect have the force of
law (Constitution, Article 90/5) the framework of legislation prohibiting sex discrimination
consists of provisions in the Constitution, as well as provisions included in ratified
international instruments.
The international instruments in this field that are binding on Turkey include: CEDAW,
Optional Protocol of CEDAW, UN Convention on the Protection of the Righ ts of All Migrant
Workers and Members of Their Families, UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities, ILO conventions on Unemployment (No. 2), Minimum Wage-Fixing Machinery
(No. 26), Forced Labour Convention (No. 29), Fee-Charging Employment Agencies (No.
34), Underground Work (Women) (No. 45), Labour Inspection (No. 81), Freedom of
Association and Protection of the Right to Organise (No. 87), Employment Service
Convention (No. 88), Protection of Wages (No. 95), Fee-Charging Employment Agencies
(Revised) (No. 96), Right to Organise and Collective Bargain ing (No. 98), Minimum Wage
Fixing Mach inery (Agricu lture) (No. 99), Equal Remuneration (No. 100), Social Security
(Minimum Standards) (No. 102), Abolition of Forced Labou r (No. 105), Discrimination in
Respect of Employment and Occupation (No. 111), Equality of Treatment (Social Security)
(No. 118), Employment Policy (No. 122), Workers’ Representatives (No. 135), Min imum
Age (No. 138), Labour Relations (Public Service) (No. 151), Occupational Safety and
Health (No. 155), Termination of Employment at the Initiative of the Employer (No. 158),
Occupational Health Services (No. 161), Worst Forms of Child Labour (No. 182),
Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and H ealth (No. 187).16
14 See Constitutional Court, 7.6.1999, 10/22, Official Journal 21.7.2000, No. 24116.
15 See Conseil d’Etat 12th Division, 22.2.2006, 2004/4382, 2006/539.
16 The ILO’s Indigenous and Tribal People Convention, 1989 (No. 169) (See Bakirci, K (2011), ‘Indigenous
Women’s Issues’, in Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World, Vol.2 (eds. Z.Stange/C.K.Oyster/J.E.Sloan),
Sage, USA) and the Domestic Workers’ Convention, 2011 (No. 189) (See Bakirci, K (2011), ‘Domestic
Workers’, in Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World, Vol. 1 (eds. Z.Stange/C.K.Oyster/J.E.Sloan), Sage,
USA) specifically prohibits sexual harassment in the workplace. The amendments to the Maritime Labour
Convention 2006 (No. 186), include issues of bullying and harassment. None of them has been ratified by

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