Remedies and enforcement

AuthorKaran, Ula?
6.1 Judicial and/or administrative procedures (Article 7 Directive 2000/43,
Article 9 Directive 2000/78)
a) Available procedures for enforcing the principle of equal treatment
In Turkey, the following procedures exist for enforcing the principle of equal treatment:
Discrimination claims are filed through general administrative and legal channels.
Judicial Procedures
In the courts, victims of discrimination can claim compensation for pecuniary damages,
loss of earnings and/or damages for pain and suffering. Parallel proceedings are possible
with regard to criminal, civil or administrative courts. Persons may simultaneously pursue
a civil claim for compensation in the civil or labour courts, an administrative application or
a criminal complaint. If the discriminatory act or action is administrative in nature, before
going to court the victim of discrimination has to request compensation from the
administrative body responsible for the action. The decisions of the courts are binding by
To obtain a legal remedy, employment-related discrimination claims filed under Article 5
of the Labour Law must be brought before a labour court. There are labour courts that deal
with employment-related issues in every province. On appeal, employment-related
discrimination cases come before the civil chambers of regional courts of appeal. On the
condition that the claim in the civil case is above TRY 58 800 (EUR 7 737), the judgment
of a regional court of appeal may be subjected to a judicial review before the Court of
Cassation (9th Chamber). The possible remedies for termination of a work agreement
based on discrimination may include, but are not limited to, an order to continue the
employment relationship, payment of lost income, compensation etc. An existing labour
relationship is a precondition for bringing a labour lawsuit and those who face
discrimination in the recruitment process cannot take this route. Article 5 does not explicitly
provide that discriminatory provisions in employment contracts shall be null and void an
issue that ECRI raised in its monitoring reports.314 However, Article 6 of the Law on the
Human Rights and Equality Institution of Turkey prohibits discrimination in the recruitment
process as well and provides for an administrative fine for such acts.
Judicial control of the acts and actions of the governorships, district governorships, local
administrative bodies and provincial administration of ministries and other public
establishments and institutions is undertaken by the administrative courts. According to
Article 125 of the Turkish Constitution ‘all acts and actions of the administration shall be
subject to judicial review’ and ‘the administration shall be liable for the damage caused by
its own acts and actions’. Three principles derived from this provision are as follows: i)
lawsuits need to be filed within a time limit; ii) judicial power is limited to control of the
legality of administrative acts and actions; iii) judicial control cannot eliminate the
discretionary power of the administrative organs. In cases of acts, if the administrative
court finds a violation, it can order the annulment of the administrative act and/or full
compensation. In cases of actions, the remedy is full compensation.
Article 148 of the Constitution guarantees the right of individual application to the
Constitutional Court. The right to file an application requires exhaustion of the national
ordinary legal remedies prior to filing a petition to the Constitutional Court. The scope of
314 ECRI (2016), Report on Turkey (fifth monitoring cycle), CRI(2016)37, Strasbourg, p. 16, available at:

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