* The present document is being issued without formal editing.

** The annex to the present document may be accessed from the web page of the Committee.

Eighth periodic report submitted by Turkey under article 18 of the Convention, due in 2020 * , **

[Date received: 26 November 2020]


1.This 8th Periodic Country Report of Turkey provides information on the key measures adopted and the progress achieved by Turkey to further enhance the implementation of the Convention since the last periodic report, responding to most of the Committee’s Concluding Observations issued on 25 July 2016.

2.Turkey presented its 7th Periodic Report before the Committee on 13 July 2016 and the Committee published “Concluding observations on the seventh periodic report of Turkey” (CEDAW/C/TUR/CO/7) on 25 July 2016. Concluding observations were communicated to all related parties.

3.Information on the steps taken to implement the recommendations contained in paragraphs 15 (c), 33 (b), (c) and (f) and 37 (c) was provided by Turkey to the Committee on 30 July 2018 (CEDAW/C/TUR/CO/7/Add.1).

4.This 8th Periodic Country Report was prepared by the General Directorate on the Status of Women (GDSW) of the Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services (MoFLSS) in a participatory process, integrating the contributions of relevant actors. All NGOs were invited to contribute to the report through the announcement published on the web site of the GDSW which was also sent to NGOs via e-mail.

Visibility of the Convention

5.Turkish translations of the Convention, the Optional Protocol thereto and general recommendations issued by the Committee are made available in the web site of the GDSW. (Recommendation 17).

Article 1

6.Turkey has a comprehensive legal framework for equality between women and men, and discrimination against women. Equality of women and men was recognized and discrimination on any ground was prohibited in variety of laws in addition to the Constitution; including the Turkish Criminal Code (Law no. 5237), Civil Servants Law (Law no. 657), the Law on Political Parties (Law no. 2820), the Labour Code (Law no. 4857), and the Basic Law of National Education (Law no. 1739).

7.Furthermore, with the Law No. 6701 on Human Rights and Equality Institution of Turkey (HREIT) adopted in 2016, discrimination and the types of discrimination have been defined. Within the scope of the Law, discrimination on the basis of sex, race, colour, language, religion, faith, sect, philosophical or political opinion, ethnic origin, wealth, birth, civil status, medical condition, disability or age is prohibited. HREIT is mandated to receive, investigate and rendering decisions on the allegations of discrimination.

Article 2

Legislative and institutional developments

8.The 11th Development Plan (2019–2023) which will serve as a roadmap in reflecting the equality guaranteed in the legislation in every area of life was approved in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT) on 18.07.2019. Under the “Woman” title of the Plan, preventing all kinds of discrimination against women, ensuring that women benefit equally from the rights, opportunities and facilities in all areas of the social life and empowering them has been articulated as the main objective.

9.Policies and measures consistent with the 11th Development Plan have also been identified in 2020 Annual Presidential Programme under the title “Women”.

10.The Ombudsman Institution (KDK) contributes to protection and development of rights of the women and children by monitoring the practices of administrations through the complaint mechanism and by reporting the deficiencies to the GNAT. KDK acts in compliance with the principles of impartiality and independence in exercising its duties. The Institution also accepts applications (which are free of charge) in other languages (including Kurdish, Arabic) besides Turkish. Applications are kept confidential at the request of the complainant. Special reports could be prepared by the KDK on issues as deemed necessary. In line with the Article 7(f) of the Ombudsman Law No. 6328, one Ombudsman has been assigned to deal with applications concerning women’s and children rights. (Recommendation 23 (c)).

11.The Presidential Decree on Supporting Victims of Crime (entered into force on 10th June 2020) provided legal basis for the establishment of Judicial Support and Victim Services’ Directorates (ADMs). ADMs are serving in 99 courthouses across the country.

National machinery for the advancement of women

12.Under the framework of Turkey’s new government structure, “Presidential System of Government”, GDSW was restructured as one of the main service units of the MoFLSS in July 2018. Being the national mechanism for ensuring that women enjoy equal rights, opportunities and facilities, GDSW carries out and coordinates protective, preventive, educational, developmental, guiding and rehabilitating social service activities for women. (See Table 1 for the information on the increasing budget and the number of personnel of GDSW over the years).

13.“The Strategy Paper and Action Plan on Women’s Empowerment (2018–2023)” was adopted and its implementation was launched. This document constitutes an important reference for the implementation of the principle of equal opportunities for women and men in practice and the development of policies and measures that ensure the elimination of practices leading to discrimination against women. Five main policy pillars (education, economy, health, participation in decision-making mechanisms and media) are identified and the current situation, main purpose, objectives, strategies and activities regarding these five main policy pillars are drawn up. (Recommendation 25 (c)).

National human rights institution

14.Human Rights and Equality Institution of Turkey (HREIT) was established in conformity with Paris Principles with the Law no. 6701 on 20 April 2016. HREIT has public legal entity status with administrative and financial autonomy. In addition to its duties as the national human rights institution and the national prevention mechanism, HREIT has been mandated to carry out activities to fight against discrimination. Any natural and legal person who claims to have been harmed by a violation of non-discrimination can apply to the Institution. (See Table 2 for the budget and expenditures of HREIT). (Recommendation 21).


15.Committee on Equality of Opportunity for Women and Men (KEFEK) of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey received a total of 106 individual applications between 01.01.2014–21.02.2020 regarding the allegations of discrimination and equality of opportunity for women and men. Activities carried out by KEFEK are included under Articles 3, 10 and 14. (Recommendation 9).

Discriminatory legislation

16.According to the first paragraph of the Article 76 titled “The physical examination of the third parties and taking samples from the body” of the Criminal Procedure Code No. 5271; “in order to obtain evidence in relation to an offence, a decision may be taken at the request of the public prosecutor or with the initiative of the judge or the court, or, in cases of peril in delay, by the public prosecutor; to conduct external and internal physical examination of the victim or to take blood or similar biological samples, as well as hair saliva, nail from his body on the condition that it shall not endanger the health of the person and require a surgical intervention”.

17.As stated in the text of the law, these measures are generally applied to obtain evidence for the sake of the investigation in cases where the victim is exposed to sexual abuse or sexual assault. Moreover, objections may be lodged against decisions taken by the judge or court as stated in the fifth paragraph of the said Article. On the other hand, it is also stated in Article 77 of the Law No. 5271 that the physical examination shall be conducted by a female doctor where possible and if requested by the woman.

18.In practice, the prosecutor’s office requests the examination of the victim from the forensic medicine in writing. Care is taken to ensure that the examination is carried out under the most favourable conditions for both the victim and the doctor, and no virginity testing is carried out without the letter of the prosecutor’s office and without the victim’s informed consent. There is a patient rights-based approach in the medical evaluation of individuals. (Recommendation 19 (a)).

19.According to the Turkish Criminal Code No. 5237, termination of pregnancies not more than ten weeks by the consent of women is legally allowed. In addition, in case a woman gets pregnant as a result of an offense, this period is determined as 20weeks and the decision is left to the pregnant woman solely. (Recommendation 19(b)).

Article 3

20.State of emergency, which was declared shortly after the terrorist coup attempt in order to ensure the continuity of the Turkish democracy and to protect the rule of law, rights and freedoms of our citizens, was lifted on 19 July 2018.

21.Turkey has carried out its measures after coup attempt in line with the rule of law and international norms. The state of emergency did not obstruct constitutional order in Turkey; nor did it create a threat to fundamental rights and freedoms. (Recommendation 8).

22.Turkey is simultaneously fighting against brutal terrorist organizations, namely FETÖ/PDY, PKK, DAESH and DHKP-C. While countering terrorism, Turkey pays utmost attention to keep the delicate balance between fundamental freedoms and security needs. All measures are taken in accordance with law and in full compliance with international obligations. Within the context of counter terrorist operations, utmost attention has been paid for the protection of human rights. It should also be noted that women and particularly mothers are the most affected segments of the society from the terrorist attacks.

23.The presentation of Turkey’s counter-terrorism operations as acts against the citizens of Kurdish origin is biased and reflects the efforts of circles that serve for PKK propaganda. The Government reminds the Committee of the fact that it is mostly the Kurdish mothers who suffer as their sons and daughters are taken by the PKK and brought to its training camps in Northern Iraq and Syria. Kurdish mothers are staging a sit-in protest against PKK since August 2019 in expectation that their children are returned to their families.

24.The recommendation of the Committee with regard to “restoring peace negotiation” with PKK terrorist organization (Recommendation 37 (a)) clearly exceeds the purpose of the Convention and undermines Turkey’s struggle against terrorism by abusing women’s rights. The Government expects the Committee to take a firm stand against any kind of terrorist activity without any distinction.

Gender-based violence against women

25.“Law No. 6284 on Protection of Family and Prevention of Violence Against Women” and the “Implementing Regulation Concerning the Law” established the measures to protect women, children, family members and victims of stalking, who have been subject to the violence or at the risk of violence; and enabled the prosecution and punishment of perpetrators. (Recommendation 33 (b)).

26.“Coordination Plan on Combating Violence against Women (2020–2021)” was prepared by the MoFLSS, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of National Education (MoNE), Ministry of Health and the Presidency of Religious Affairs and started to be implemented.

27.“The 3rd National Action Plan on Combating Violence against Women (2016–2020)”, prepared by the GDSW in order determine the targets and activities for the elimination of violence against women through including all relevant stakeholders, is being implemented resolutely.

28.“Provincial Action Plans for Combating Violence against Women” are in force in all provinces to ensure that national plans and programmes are implemented locally, and policies for combating violence against women are supported on the basis of local needs, priorities and resources.

29.“Provincial Coordination, Monitoring and Assessment Commissions on Combating Violence against Women”, which was established in 2016, gather with the participation of relevant institutions in all provinces at every 6-month periods and when deemed necessary, under the chairmanship of the Governor, and Commission Reports are being prepared. These reports are regularly reviewed by the GDSW and the main issues, deficiencies and suggestions within the scope of combating violence against women are communicated to the relevant Ministries. (Recommendation 33(a)).

30.“Action Plan on Prevention of European Human Rights Convention Violations” was implemented by the Ministry of Justice between 2014–2019. Under the title “Taking Necessary Measures to Prevent Domestic Violence, Violence and Especially Murders Against Women as a Positive Obligation of the State”; the following activities were conducted:

•Taking necessary measures for the efficient implementation of the Law no.6284;

•Efficient implementation of the necessary protective measures, for the women who state that their lives are at stake, by elaborately assessing the severity of the danger;

•Establishment of special bureaus at the Chief Public Prosecutors’ Offices in the cities with population above a certain number, with the purpose of efficiently investigating the offences emerging from domestic violence;

•Continuation of the pre-service and in-service trainings on domestic violence and violence against women, for the judges, public prosecutors, law enforcement officers and experts.

31.Women’s shelters are the social service institutions where women, who have been subjected to physical, psychological, sexual, economic or verbal abuse or violence, may temporarily stay with their children (if any) to meet their needs, and where they can protect themselves from violence, receive psycho-social support and solve their economic problems. There are 110 women’s shelters affiliated to the MoFLSS, 32 affiliated to the local administrations, 2 affiliated to General Directorate of Migration Management of the Ministry of Interior; and 1 affiliated to an NGO, 145 shelters in total across the country serving with a total capacity of 3,482. (Recommendation 33 (f)).

32.Works for the specialization of women’s shelters have been initiated by the MoFLSS in line with the strategy documents, action plans and the needs observed in the field.

33.“Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centres” (WPMCs); were established in all provinces within the scope of Law No. 6284, in order to combat the causes, presence and consequences of the phenomenon of violence. Regulation on WPMCs was prepared with the contribution and participation of all the relevant stakeholders and entered into force on 17 March 2016. In these centres; sheltering services for victims of violence, temporary financial assistance, guidance and counselling services, monitoring of the temporary protection in case of life threats, nursery aid, legal support, medical support, employment support, scholarship for children, support in education and training are provided. (Recommendation 33 (f)).

34.Judicial Interview Rooms have been established in 75 courthouses as of 2017 in order to protect victims in the judicial process, prevent secondary victimization and strengthen their access to justice. The statements of the victims are taken in specially designed and technologically equipped rooms.

35.“183 Social Support Hotline” within the MoFLSS serves as a psychological, legal and economic advisory hotline for women and children who are at risk of violence and need support and assistance; and provides information about their rights and places to apply. Taking into account the urgency of the situation, intervention is provided by informing the emergency response team manager and/or law enforcement officers of the province where the incident is occurred. This hotline is available 7/24 and is free. Operating in Arabic and Kurdish as well, the hotline is equipped with short message feature and 3G function for the hearing-impaired individuals. In addition, during Covid-19 pandemic, as of March 2020, victims of violence calling 183 Social Support Hotline can reach the relevant support personnel by pressing the “0” button, without waiting in the queue. As of May 2020, services have been started to be provided to victims of violence through the WhatsApp. (Recommendations 33 (f) and 35).

36.The Pilot Scheme for the use of “Tracking Systems with Technical Methods was put into effect on 8 March 2015 for 2 years and renewed on 28 June 2019”. Implemented in cooperation with MoFLSS, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Interior; the system provides more effective protection by using electronic wristbands in which the perpetrator and the victim are monitored together. This practice has been implemented in 15 provinces since June 2019.

37.The works for the integrating the injunction orders issued pursuant to the Law No. 6284 under a common database system are ongoing. In this context, sharing the injunction orders through the National Judiciary Informatics System (UYAP) of the Ministry of Justice, integration of the Ministry of Interior “Registration Form for Incidents of Domestic Violence and Violence against Women within Scope of the Law No. 6284” and the “Data regarding injunction orders issued under the Law No. 6284”, as well as the integration of Gendarmerie General Command’s data have been completed. By this means, the time to reach individuals who are victims of violence has been shortened and the effectiveness of protection has been increased. (Recommendation 33 (c)).

38.Applications within the scope of Law No. 6284 are decided by the Family Courts (Civil Courts of First Instance, in the absence of the Family Court). As of January 2019, there are 273 active Family Courts in Turkey.

39.People who are subjected to violence within the scope of the Law No. 6284 can directly apply to the Public Prosecutor’s Office. In addition, “Domestic Violence Crimes Investigation Offices” have started to be established within the body of prosecution offices especially in metropolitan cities. As of January 2019, there exist 57 Domestic Violence Crimes Investigation Offices within Public Prosecutor’s Office.

40.“The Domestic Violence and Combating Violence Against Women Units” established under the General Directorate of Security in 2011 was organized as the “Bureaus of Combating Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women” at the district level under all of the Provincial Directorates of Security. The number of bureaus reached 1.005.

41.“Children and Women Section Chiefs” have been established within all Provincial Gendarmerie Commands as of 2017, in order to carry out, coordinate and direct operations for women and children from one centre, to accumulate institutional memory and to follow up developments.

42.A Parliamentary Investigation Commission was established on 25.11.2014 in GNAT in order to investigate the motives for violence against women and determining the due precautions. The report of the Commission was published in May 2015.

43.With the provision added to Article 60 of the Law No.5510 on Social Security and General Health Insurance, those for whom the protective cautionary decision is taken pursuant to the provisions of Law No. 6284, but who do not have general health insurance, who cannot benefit from a dependent insurance, or who cannot benefit from health care, are regarded as having general health insurance without an income test and the premiums will be covered by the State.

44.“The Committee on the Monitoring of Violence against Women” established under the coordination of GDSW, holds its regular meetings with the participation of relevant public institutions, universities and representatives of NGOs to share information and experience on the activities carried out and problems encounters with regard to combatting violence against women. The Committee held its 13th meeting on 15 November 2019.

45.“Women Support System” (KADES), a mobile application for smartphones developed in cooperation with the MoFLSS and the Ministry of Interior in order to ensure rapid and effective response for women victims of violence or those under risk, was put into service as of 24 March 2018. KADES has been downloaded by 470.633 people to date. 34.907 women reported their emergency situations by using the application.

46.“Protection Desks” have been set up by the Ministry of Interior to ensure the protection of human rights, fundamental freedoms and right to life by evaluating the conditions of those who are identified with special needs, to direct them to institutions that will provide access to psycho-social support, rehabilitation services, social and economic assistances that will help them continue their lives and to make intervention to emergency cases.

47.Works within the UN and the OSCE are supported with regard to UNSC Resolution 1325. (Recommendation 38).

48.“Research on Domestic Violence against Women in Turkey” was conducted on 2008 and 2014 in order to determine the extent of violence against women. The preparations for the third research have been initiated.

49.The first evaluation process of “Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence” (GREVIO) for Turkey has been completed. GREVIO published the Evaluation Report of Turkey on 15 October 2018. Turkey continues its efforts by taking the recommendations of GREVIO into consideration.

50.Documents of basic human rights, summaries of the European Court of Human Rights decisions on Turkey, thematic information notes on decisions made in the context of European Convention on Human Rights, guidelines and handbooks on human rights instruments are published in Turkish and other languages on the website of the Ministry of Justice, Department of Human Rights (http://www.inhak.adalet.gov.tr) to raise awareness on women’s rights. (Recommendation 23).

51.Under the web site of the Ombudsman Institution, a section “Ombudsman Women” has been made available which contains information about women’s rights and decisions of the Institution.

Projects, workshops, seminars and trainings

52.“Project on Combating Domestic Violence” implemented by GDSW was completed in 2016. Within the scope of the project, current situation analysis and training needs analysis were carried out for 26 provinces, and “Provincial Action Plans to Combat Violence against Women” were prepared. Training of trainers programmes for police officers, judges, prosecutors, chief editors, family court specialists, healthcare professionals; and training programmes for professionals working in MoFLSS were carried out. Within this scope, a total of 1,280 people received trainings/training of trainers. In addition, within the scope of the grant component, approximately 3.000.000 Euro grant support was provided to 19 NGOs in 11 provinces.

53.“Project on Women’s Representation in the Media” was implemented by the GDSW in 2007 in order to reveal the effects of the way women are represented in the media on the social and cultural structure of women and society. Within the scope of the Project, research on the representation of women in the media, the perception of media professionals and the general perception of the society regarding the representation of women in the media was conducted.

54.Within the scope of the “Project on Gender Equality in Political Leadership and Participation in Turkey” implemented by KEFEK; efforts are underway to increase the institutional capacity of the ministries and local administrations with regard to equal opportunities for women and men, including the establishment of equality units, and to review legislation.

55.Within the scope of the “Project on Preventing Domestic Violence Against Women (2013–2015)” carried out by the Gendarmerie General Command, a report on the domestic violence” was prepared; 250 military officers and 21 experts were trained as trainers, Coordination and Awareness Workshops were organized in 30 provinces, a report for the establishment of the Mechanism for Local Cooperation and Coordination in 2 pilot provinces was prepared, 420.000 brochures and 90.000 handbooks were distributed, 2.066 military officer and 18.967 rank and file were trained.

56.Within the scope of the “EU Project for Increasing the Organizational Capacity of the Women and Children Sections of the Gendarmerie General Command”; 988 Gendarmerie General Command personnel were trained on combating violence against women and children effectively, increasing the quality of service provided to victims, and raising awareness on discrimination.

57.“Supporting Human Rights Boards and Women’s Rights Project” was carried out by HREIT between 2014–2016. The objectives of the project include developing standards for the review and application processes regarding human rights violations, raising awareness in the society on human rights, and contributing to the protection and strengthening of women’s rights. In this context, approximately 1,200 board members and desk officers were trained through a one-day Women’s Rights seminar held in 20 provinces for Provincial and District Human Rights Boards.

58.Within the scope of the “Project for the Protection of the Family and Raising Social Awareness in the Prevention of Domestic Violence”, which was launched in 2019 by the Presidency of Religious Affairs, trainings were held to prevent and end the violence experienced by women, children and the elderly.

59.Trainings, workshops and seminars have been held for citizens, personnel working in public institutions and all relevant stakeholders throughout the country in order to raise awareness on the legal rights of women, ensure equality between women and men, and prevent discrimination and violence against women. (See Table 3 for the list of trainings, workshops and seminars).

60.In order to strengthen the equality between women and men and to provide effective service in combating violence against women, cooperation mechanisms between institutions/organizations and related sectors were strengthened, and protocols were signed among the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Health, Ministry of National Defence, General Command of Gendarmerie, Presidency of Religious Affairs and MoFLSS. (See Table 4 for the number of personnel participating in the trainings within the scope of the protocols).

61.Regular meetings are held by the GDSW with the women mukhtars, relevant non-governmental organizations and universities regarding women’s empowerment, ensuring equal opportunities for women and men, problems encountered and possible joint works.

62.Within the scope of the activities on combating violence against women; 4 mandatory broadcasts or/and public service announcements prepared by the MoFLSS in 2014, 1 in 2015, 2 in 2016, 3 in 2017, 1 in 2018, 4 in 2019 were sent with Radio and Television Supreme Council’s (RTÜK) authorization to the media service providers in order to be broadcast. (Recommendation 33 (d)).

Refugee and asylum-seeking women

63.Regarding the access of women and girls under international protection and temporary protection to education, see article 10; and for their access to health care services see Article 12.

64.The rate of women beneficiaries in projects for Syrians under Temporary Protection (SuTP) is around 35 per cent.

65.As of May 2017, Conditional Cash Transfer for Education (CCTE) programme was extended to include Syrians and other foreign children in Turkey (CCTEF). In this context, 230,000 children were reached in the first year. (See Table 5 and Table 6).

66.As of February 2020, 1.082.172 foreign children are of school age. 623.326 children registered in the education system became beneficiaries of CCTEF at least one time.

67.Within the scope of CCTEF, visits are made by Turkish Red Crescent to the households of children with absenteeism. The reasons for absenteeism are determined, necessary social services are provided, and they are directed to appropriate institutions. (Recommendation 44 (d)).

68.Special report on “Syrians in Turkey” has been prepared by Ombudsman Institution and the situation of refugee women and children are handled under a separate heading.

Article 4

69.With the Constitutional amendment that took place in 2010, the way for positive discrimination measures for women was cleared and the state was obliged to make arrangements and take necessary precautions in order to achieve equal rights and equal opportunities in all areas. In this framework many activities are carried out, for strengthening women’s positions in all areas of life; ensuring that they benefit equally from education and healthcare; increasing their participation in decision making mechanisms; including equal opportunities of women and men in the main plans and policies and supporting the continuity of efforts in combating violence against women. (Recommendation 27).

70.Article 1 (ç) of the Law No. 6284 introduced the provision that “the special measures to prevent the gender-based violence against women and protect the women from the gender-based violence cannot be interpreted as discrimination.”

71.Women are included in the priority group in the “Work Programmes for Public Benefit” which enables the disadvantaged groups to enter into the labour market. Women constituted 59 per cent of the programme beneficiaries in 2019.

72.With the aid programme initiated by the MoFLSS in 2012 for women whose spouse has passed away, a monthly cash support of 325 TL is provided to the women in need. In 2019, 165.481 women and as of May 2020, 100.133 women benefited from this programme.

73.Within the framework of Conditional Cash Transfer for Education Programme (CCTE) carried out by the General Directorate of Social Assistance of the MoFLSS, temporary special measures for girls are introduced. In this context, 40 TL for female students, 35 TL for male students in primary education, 60 TL for girls, 50 TL for boys in secondary education are paid monthly to mothers. In addition, extra payments of 100 TL per child are made for once at the beginning of each semester (September and January). Additional incentive payment of 100 TL for students between the 4th and 8th grades, and 150 TL for students between the 9–18 grades was made for the 2019–2020 academic year.

74.Positive discrimination is provided to women in the incentives provided by Turkish Employment Agency (İŞKUR), and in entrepreneurship supports provided by Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization (KOSGEB) in order to promote women’s employment. (See Article 11).

Article 5

75.It was stated in the Article 1.4 of the “Declaration of Ethics for Turkish Judiciary (2019)” that, judges and prosecutors will absolutely reject discrimination based on sex as well as other forms of discrimination, and will not use a discriminatory discourse. It is clearly emphasized that positive discrimination enshrined in the Constitution shall not be considered as violation of the principle of equality.

76.An active contribution was provided by Turkey to the drafting and preparation process of the “Recommendation CM/Rec(2019)1 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on preventing and combating sexism” adopted by the Council of Europe on 27 March 2019.

77.“Turkey’s Engineer Girls Project” (2016–2020) is being carried out in cooperation with MoFLSS, MoNE, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and private sector. The project aims to support female students who want to be engineers with an aim to combat occupational prejudices. The project includes university and high school programmes (see more details under Article 10). Within the framework of the university programme, along with the scholarship opportunities for university students; internship and employment opportunities, online English language training, mentoring and coaching support and the Leadership in Engineering Certificate Programme are provided. Within the scope of the project, scholarship and other kinds of support was provided to 310 female students studying in engineering faculties. Also; 24.502 people were reached through awareness raising and information activities on engineering. (Recommendations 29 and 44 (a)).

78.Within the framework of the “Family Education Programme”, which is being carried out by the MoFLSS and covers areas such as communication, economy, health, law and education; a total of 2.038.200 people were trained under the Family Education Programme and 1.194.233 people were trained under the Pre-Marriage Education Programme from 2013 to the end of June 2020. Counselling services were provided to 52,063 applications within the scope of Family Counselling and Divorce Process Counselling.

Article 6

79.The crime of human trafficking is regulated in Article 80 of the Turkish Penal Code No. 5237 titled “Human Trafficking”. According to the third subsection of the Article, if the children (under 18 years old) are victimized, the offender is subject to the punishments indicated in the first subsection even if he did not execute the acts causing offense.

80.According to Article 103 of the Turkish Penal Code No. 5237 titled “Sexual abuses of children”, the person who abuses a child sexually shall be sentenced to an imprisonment from eight years to fifteen years. If the sexual abuse remains at the level of molestation, the victim shall be sentenced to three years to eight years. If the victim has not completed the age of twelve, the penalty shall not be less than ten years in case of abuse, and not less than five years in case of molestation. If sexual abuse is carried out by inserting an organ or an object into the body, the sentence shall not be less than sixteen years and if the victim has not completed the age of twelve, the sentence shall not be less than eighteen years. In the event that the act is carried out by force or threat against children who have not completed fifteen years of age or whose ability to perceive the legal meaning and consequences has not been developed, or by using weapons against other children, there are provisions to increase the penalty by half.

81.Within the framework of Turkish Civil Code and Turkish Criminal Code, the marriage of the victim of sexual violence to the perpetrator has no effect on removing criminal responsibility, and also the convenient procedure for the annulment of such marriages is regulated in the Turkish Civil Code. On the other hand, according to the “Regulation on Combating Human Trafficking and Protection of Victims”, cases of forced marriage could be evaluated within the scope of human trafficking crime. If the elements of the crime listed in Article 80 of the Turkish Criminal Code exist, support services are provided to these people. (Recommendation 31).

82.With the “Regulation on Combating Human Trafficking and Protection of Victims” which came into force on 16 March 2016, provisions have been introduced on issues such as; the procedures and principles regarding the identification procedures without discrimination of foreigners or citizens, procedures and principles regarding the functioning of the national commission authorized to make policies in the fight against human trafficking, training and awareness studies, health services to be provided to victims and victims’ access to the labour market.

83.Brochures containing information about the issues such as human trafficking, early and forced marriages, violence etc.; and the application mechanisms that should be reached when exposed to violence or witnessed violence were prepared and distributed in all provinces.

84.In Turkey, “Victim Support Programme” is implemented on the basis of information and consent, considering the safety, health and special situation of the victim during and after the period of thought, investigation and prosecution. The foreign victim is sent to his or her own country or to a safe third country after the identification process, when he/she declares that he/she does not want to benefit from the support programme at the time of the support programme or at the end of the programme upon his/her statement.

85.Within the scope of Turkish Penal Code, sexual acts against the victim as a result of forced marriage are evaluated within the scope of sexual violence, corresponding to the crimes regulated in Articles 102, 103 and 105 of the Code. In addition, even if there is no sexual act, it is possible to criminalize the deprivation of the liberty of the person in accordance with the Article 109 of the Code.

86.With the Project implemented in order to improve the capacity of the professional staff in the institutional service units of GDSW regarding combating human trafficking and to protect the victim, prevent the crime of human trafficking and contribute to the fight against human trafficking in Turkey; 6 basic trainings were organized with the participation of 197 professional staff in 2019 and 48 professional staff in 2020 (245 professional staff in total).

87.Within the scope of the “Supporting Labour Migration Management in Turkey Project” carried out by Directorate General of the International Labour Force of MoFLSS and IOM Turkey Office; training on combating human trafficking was given to the personnel of Directorate for Guidance and Inspection of the MoFLSS.

Article 7

88.Women in Turkey gained the universal suffrage in 1934, earlier than most of the other countries. The 11th Development Plan of Turkey includes the measures of “encouraging activities will be carried out to increase the active participation of women in politics” and “awareness raising, guiding and encouraging methods will be developed to ensure further involvement of women in the management and decision-making bodies in the public sector”. In this regard, various activities were determined in 2020 Annual Presidential Programme to achieve these goals. These include; (1) seminars for students of universities to be selected subsequently will be held on the topics of politics, decision making mechanisms and women, and thus raising awareness on the issue, (2) joint activities will be carried out in cooperation with the NGOs working on increasing women’s active participation in politics.

89.The chapter titled “participation in decision making mechanisms” of the “Strategy Paper and Action Plan on Women’s Empowerment (2018–2023)” confers responsibilities to all relevant public organisations and institutions on developing legal and administrative arrangements, as well as undertaking awareness raising activities aimed at women and the general public in order to increase representation of women in decision making mechanisms.

90.The number of women MPs in the general elections held on 7 June 2015 was 98, with the representation rate of 17.82 per cent. In the 1 November 2015 elections, the number of women MPs was 81 and the representation rate was 14,73 per cent. Lastly, in the general elections held on 24 June 2018, the number of women MPs and the representation rate in the parliament were 104 and 17,45 per cent respectively (see Table 7). In the current Presidential System of Government that entered into force with the 24 June 2018 elections, two female ministers (12,5 per cent) serve in the cabinet. Furthermore, there are four (7,1 per cent) Deputy Ministers in the Ministries.

91.According to the results of local elections on 31st March 2019, 3 metropolitan mayors and 42 mayors are women. 2.283 municipal assembly members and 48 provincial assembly members are women. A total of 1.086 women were elected as mukhtars throughout Turkey in the 31 March 2019 local elections.

92.Among total public officials, 39,60 per cent are women. The rate of women in the senior level decision-making position in the bureaucracy is 11,71 per cent. (See Table 8).

93.See Table 9 for the distribution of teachers employed at different levels of education in 2018–2019 academic year.

94.544 out of 1.288 executives working in the central organisation of the MoNE are women (42,24 per cent).

95.With regard to executives of educational institutions, 2.937 of 30.757 school principals; 155 of 1.506 vice-principals and 13.344 of 53.141 assistant principals are women.

96.45 per cent of the academic staff, 51 per cent of the research assistants in higher education is women. See Table 10 for the rate of women by academic titles in higher education.

97.See Table 11 for the proportion of women in some occupational groups as of January 2020.

98.46 per cent of the judges and 45 per cent of the lawyers are women. See Table 12 for the distribution of judges and prosecutors employed at courts of different levels and jurisdictions, as of January 2020.

99.As per the results of household employment survey, the rate of high or middle level female managers in the companies was raised to 16,3 per cent in 2018 from 14,4 per cent in 2012.

Article 8

100.As of July 2020 data, 66 out of 266 Ambassadors, 17 out of 85 Consul Generals in abroad missions; and 24 out of 81 Director Generals/Deputy Director Generals in the central organisation of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs are women.

101.Turkey regularly participates to international meetings with delegations that include NGO representatives. Furthermore, Turkey has high-level female representatives/ members in organisations such as GREVIO and European Court of Human Rights.

102.Women Consultative Council of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation was established with the proposal of Turkey following the “6th Ministerial Conference on Women’s Role in the Development of OIC Member States” that was held in Istanbul between 1–3 November 2016. This Council has the mandate of providing consultation to the OIC Ministerial Conference and carries out advocacy activities at international level. Turkey held the Presidency of the Council throughout its Term Presidency (2016–2018) of OIC Ministerial Conference, and is currently represented at the Council’s meetings as a member.

103.Within the framework of United Nations Universal Periodic Review (UPR), third cycle review of Turkey was conducted between 28–30 January 2020. During the review, the improvements achieved in the field of woman’s rights in the last five years were underlined.

Article 9

104.In accordance with Citizenship Law No. 5901, all women and men in Turkey are equal in terms of acquiring, changing or retaining their nationality.

Article 10

105.The policies set out in the 11th Development Plan regarding the participation of women and girls in education are: (1) Full access and effective participation of girls and women to all levels of education will be ensured. (2) Efforts to raise social awareness towards preventing violence against women, forced marriages and all kinds of abuse will be accelerated, and the efficiency as well as capacity of protective and preventive services will be increased.

106.“Sub-Commission on the Orientation of Young People, Especially of Girls, to Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering Fields,” was established by KEFEK on 14.11.2018.

107.According to the results of 2019 Address Based Population Registration System, a number of 2.024.979 people are illiterate and 1.738.389 of them are women. 83,9 per cent of the illiterate women (1.459.230) are in the 50 and over age group. In the 6–24 age group, there are 9,566 women who are illiterate. (See Table 13).

108.The rate of female illiteracy in the female population of 6 years and older is 4,7 per cent, and the rate of male illiteracy in the male population is 0,7 per cent.

109.Pre-primary education involves the education of children who have not reached the age of compulsory primary education and is optional. See Table 14 for schooling rates by age and sex in pre-school education for 2018/2019 academic year.

110.Primary education institutions consist of the four year and compulsory primary schools, four year and compulsory lower secondary schools which give opportunity to choose between different programmes, and lower secondary schools for imams and preachers.

111.See Table 15 for the net schooling rates by education level and sex for the 2018/2019 academic year.

112.See Table 16 for the number and rates of students at primary and lower secondary school levels for the 2018/2019 academic year.

113.Upper secondary education includes all the teaching institutions, general vocational and technical education institutions with at least four year compulsory, formal or non-formal education, based on primary and lower secondary education. It is observed that the schooling rates in the upper-secondary education level have increased continuously in recent years.

114.See Table 17 for a comparison of net schooling rates in the upper-secondary education between 2006/2007 academic year and 2018/2019 academic year.

115.Female students constitute 46,64 per cent of 5.649.594 students attending upper-secondary education; and 39,5 per cent of 1.793.391 students who continue their vocational and technical secondary education, which train intermediate staff for the labour market.

116.Higher education includes all the educational institutions that provide at least two-years of higher education. It is observed that the total higher education net schooling rate, which was 18,85 per cent in 2005/06 was increased to 44,1 per cent in 2018/19 academic year. For women, this ratio was increased from 17,41 per cent in 2005/06 to 46,37 per cent in the 2018/19 academic year.

117.The total number of students in higher education is 7.940.133 (48,26 per cent are female and 51,74 per cent are male students).

118.Number of students in doctoral (PhD) programmes is 101.242 and the number of students in master’s programmes is 297.001. (The ratio of female students in master and doctorate programmes are 46 per cent in both).

119.As of the fall semester of the 2019–2020 academic year, 61,46 per cent of 100/2000 Council of Higher Education PhD Scholarship students are female.

120.While the ratio of women is particularly concentrated in educational sciences (71,3 per cent), health (78,7 per cent) and fine arts (54,5 per cent), it also ranges around 27,7 per cent in the architecture & engineering and about 36,2 per cent in the veterinary.

121.See Table 18 for the population by level of education and sex (6+ age).

122.According to the data of MoNE for 2018/2019 academic year, women constitute 5.763.460 (53.4 per cent) of the 10.783.964 trainees trained in non-formal education. 60,1 per cent of the 7.977.448 trainees benefiting from the courses organised by the Public Education Centres; 19,5 per cent of 183.147 trainees benefiting from the courses organised by Vocational Training Centres are women.

123.1st and 2nd level literacy courses are organised for illiterate women and girls in penitentiary institutions, also those who are arrested while continuing formal education are provided with the opportunity to continue their education without interruption and attend school exams.

124.As of 2017–2018 academic year, Syrian children are directed to official schools as part of the policy of integrating Syrian children into Turkish education system. (Recommendation 15 (a)).

125.Construction of 78 mobile kindergartens were completed in 2018–2019 academic year in order to meet the need for classrooms in disadvantaged settlements where foreign children are densely populated. In regions where foreign nationals are densely populated, teachers, school principals and administrators who practice preschool summer training have been trained. Thus, 47,000 children, 17,000 of whom were foreign nationals, were delivered summer training.

126.With the service titled “Mobile Social Services for Children”, children who have school absenteeism, and who are at risk of drifting to crime or who need social service intervention are identified by the MoFLSS and child and family interviews are conducted. Relevant institutions and organizations are mobilized to meet the needs of families.

127.Within the scope of in-service trainings organized by MoNE for teachers, 682 people participated in a number of 16 “Gender Equality and Training Courses” organized in 2018, and 9.942 people participated in a number of 400 in-service trainings organized within the context of family trainings.

128.Turkey has opened boarding and pensioned primary schools in villages and sub‑village settlements that do not have schools in rural areas. According to the data of 2018–2019 academic year, the number of boarding students was 353.341 and it consisted of 176,651 (49,9 per cent) female students.

129.“Transported Primary, Secondary and High School Education” is applied for the school-age children in low-populated and dispersed settlements without any school or for the students attending to multigrade-class schools in order to provide more qualified education with equal opportunities. The number of students who benefited from this practice in 2018–2019 academic year was 798.014 and 391.577 (49 per cent) of those were female.

130.Education programmes and textbooks that have been in practice in all classes of primary and secondary education institutions have been revised by excluding discriminative expressions in terms of human rights, sex, race, religion, language, colour, political opinion, philosophical belief and similar grounds as of 2018–2019 academic year.

131.Women’s rights and equality between women and men have been included in the curricula of many courses from preschool to upper-secondary education. For example, the concepts of positive discrimination, equality, discrimination based on sex, violence against women, early and forced marriages are being explained in the “Active Citizenship” unit of the Social Studies Curriculum, in the “Legal Problems” unit in the Law and Justice Curriculum of Primary Schools, as well as in the Human Rights, Citizenship and Democracy Curriculum.

132.The course books are prepared in the context of gender equality in line with the criteria determined in the “Guidelines and Explanations to be Applied in Evaluation of Draft Textbook and Education Tools and the e-Content of Such Materials” that includes the explanations of the Regulation on Course Books and Education Tools published by MoNE in 2019. In addition to course books to be used in primary and secondary schools, all the digital content broadcasted in Digital Education Platform (EBA) should be prepared taking into account the criteria in the Guideline. (Recommendation 44 (b)).

133.An awareness raising activity was organized in cooperation with Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK) and MoFLSS on the occasion of “International Girls in ICT Day” on 18 April 2018 with the participation of 500 persons in order to enable young girls to evaluate their current career opportunities in the field of information and communication technologies. In 2019, a programme was organized with the participation of female students of high schools and trainers in order to draw attention to the goal of achieving equality between women and men in the fields of ICT and engineering, science and mathematics in cooperation with BTK.

134.The studies that are completed within the “Joint Work Plan 2018–2019” signed between MoFLSS and the UNICEF, aimed at protecting disadvantaged children and strengthening their right to development and participation are as follows:

•Training modules on equality between women and men, violence against women, early marriages and case management to be used in the training of trainers;

•A project is carried out to examine the examples of good practices implemented in countries where the phenomenon of early and forced marriage is experienced in various dimensions and to report these examples in order to form a basis for policies of the MoFLSS.

135.A number of 994.880 individuals at all levels were reached from February 2018 to the end of 2019 within Literacy Campaign. In this process, a total of 834.789 female trainees participated in literacy courses at all levels. Of these, 711.798 people attended intensive basic literacy courses and 122.991 attended second level literacy courses.

136.“Women Studies Units at Academia” was established in Council of Higher Education in 2015. In line with the recommendations of this Unit, Women Studies Centres in Academy and Women and Family Centres were set up in 63 per cent of the universities, total number of which amounts to 107 today. There are post-graduate and doctorate programmes on women studies under different scientific departments in 21 universities today.

137.See Table 19 for pre-vocational and in-service training programmes delivered by the Ministry of Justice in the field of women’s rights and equality between women and men and the number of participants. (Recommendation 23 (a)).

138.Science and Biology course curricula cover the chapters including the reproduction, growth and development processes of human beings, precautions that can be taken for adolescent health, and what needs to be done to protect the healthy structure of the reproductive system. (Recommendation 44 (c)).

139.“Living Languages and Dialects Courses” (Kurmançi, Zazakî, Laz, Georgian, Adyghe, Abaza, Albanian, Bosnian) are included as elective courses as two hours in the weekly programmes of 5th–8th grade classes of Primary Education Institutions (Primary and Lower Secondary Schools). In addition, education is provided on 16 different languages in formal education institutions and 20 different languages in private courses. (Recommendation 44 (f)).

Article 11

140.Empowering women in the labour market and increasing women’s labour force participation is among the main priorities of Turkey. In this context, according to the 11th Development Plan, it is targeted to increase female labour force participation rate up to 38,5 per cent, female employment rate to 34 per cent, rate of women in self‑employed to 20 per cent and rate of women in employers to 10 per cent by the end of 2023.

141.The main objectives under the “Women” title of the 11th Development Plan of Turkey were set as to prevent all kinds of discrimination against women, to ensure that women benefit from equally the rights, opportunities and facilities in all areas of the social life and to empower women.

142.“National Employment Strategy (2014–2023) and Action Plans (2017–2019)” have been prepared by the MoFLSS. The National Employment Strategy is built on sector policies with four main policy axes. The policy axis “Increasing the Employment of Groups Requiring Special Policies” aims to eliminate obstacles to labour and employment participation of groups requiring special policy, especially women, people with disabilities, young people and long-term unemployed people; and includes targets, policies and measures for these groups.

143.“New Economy Programme (2019–2021)” includes the following provision: “To provide the labour market participation of youth and women; target group, sector and region oriented incentives will be developed for the implementation of active labour market programmes and ensuring the employability of those people.”

144.2020 Annual Presidential Programme includes many measures to support and increase female employment including:

•Research will be carried out, projects will be conducted, and trainings will be held to ensure empowerment of women in economic and social life;

•The support provided in areas such as education, entrepreneurship and consultancy will be expanded for the cooperatives founded by women; and the establishment of cooperatives by women will be facilitated by making necessary legal arrangements;

•Support mechanisms will be provided to increase women’s entrepreneurship in rural areas;

•Target group, sector and region-oriented active labour market programmes will be implemented to ensure the participation of youth, women and social assistance beneficiaries into the labour market; and trainees and participants will be provided with the necessary skills to facilitate their employment after the programmes;

•Women and young farmers living in the rural areas will be primarily supported in the agricultural training and dissemination activities, rural support projects and occupational health and safety trainings in agriculture. (Recommendation46 (a)).

145.“National Monitoring and Coordination Board on Women’s Employment” was established in order to monitor and evaluate the activities carried out by all stakeholders for identification of existing problems in women’s employment and elimination of these problems; and ensure coordination and cooperation.

146.Turkey ratified two fundamental ILO Conventions on equality between women and men: Equal Remuneration Convention (No. 100) and Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention (No. 111).

147.In order to eliminate the discrimination against women in working life and to provide women with equal opportunity at all levels of the labour market, including the formal sector, many legal arrangements listed below have been adopted. (Recommendation 46 (b)).

148.Through an amendment made in the legislation on 23 April 2015, a five-day paternity leave was granted to employees whose spouse give birth.

149.With the Law No. 6663 on Amending Income Tax and Some Certain Laws dated 29 January 2016 the following regulations were made about the personal rights of female employees and parents:

•The time of unpaid leaves due to maternity leaves shall be considered in degree and rank improvements of state officials;

•With the regulation, female employees were entitled to work half-time for two months for the first child on condition of the survival of the child; four months for the second child, and six months for the third and more children without any pay reduction. In multiple births, one extra month shall be added to the aforementioned periods. In the event of a child with disability, the employee was entitled to work half-time for 12 months on usual salary;

•The employee shall be paid “Part Time Employment Payment after Maternity and Adoption”, following the maternity and adoption, throughout his/her unpaid leave period, equal to one-half of the working hours per week;

•Public official and worker parents were entitled to work part-time until the child reaches the primary school age, for each child. With respect to business and human resources planning in public and private sectors, one of the parents shall benefit from this right once for each child;

•In the event of the post-natal death of the female worker, the father is entitled to benefit from the remaining maternity leave;

•In the event of adoption, parents are entitled to benefit from the maternity leaves by comparison.

150.With the amendment made on 20 August 2016, private crèches and day-care centres were exempted from income and corporate taxes for five fiscal/taxation periods following the day they go into operation.

151.With the amendment made in tax legislation in 2018; crèches and day-care services are provided in workplaces where women are employed or in case these services are not provided, the employer has a chance to exempt this amount from income tax on the condition that the employer provides direct payments to the service providers.

152.Women working under Labour Law have the possibility of indebting the time spent on unpaid maternity leave periods. With the regulation made in 2014, the coverage of indebtment for maternity was extended to three children, which had been valid for two children previously. By this way, woman who request indebtment for 3 children, gained the right to retire early by increasing the number of premium payment days by indebting up to a total of 2160 days.

153.With the amendment came into force on 10 September 2014, work accident and occupational disease insurance have been compulsory for those who work less than 10 days in home-based services.

154.Premium incentives have been introduced in various laws to enable women to be registered on the labour market. By November 2019, 150.630 women benefited from the incentive provided by the Provisional Article 10 of Law No. 4447 and 354.722 women benefited from the incentive provided by the Provisional Article 19 of Law No. 4447.

155.According to data of Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT), 6 million 122 thousand women (15+ age) were employed in Turkey in 2002 whereas this figure rose to 8 million 924 thousand in 2019, an increase of 2 million 802 thousand, which corresponds to 45.8 per cent in proportion. Female employment rate has increased from 25,3 per cent to 28,7 per cent for the same period. There has been also significant rise in female labour force participation rates. The labour force participation rate of women, which was 27,9 per cent in 2002, has increased to 34,4 per cent in 2019. (See Table 20).

156.The rate of women working informally has reduced from 72,5 per cent (2002) to 42,2 per cent in 2019 as a result of the efforts made to increase female employment.

157.As of 2019, women with higher education had the highest labour force participation rate with 71,5 per cent.

158.The rate of women employers, which was 5,1 per cent in 2002, has increased to 10,3 per cent in 2019. For the same period, the rate of self-employed women has increased from 14,9 per cent to 17 per cent.

159.Job Search Skills Seminars are provided by İŞKUR for women in prisons, vocational and public education centres women’s shelters, and universities. In this context, this training was given to 312 women staying in women’s shelter in 2019 and 488 women as of May 2020 (Table 21).

160.İŞKUR offers intensive job and vocational counselling services through Job Clubs, aiming to provide methods and motivation support for groups that require special policies, especially women, young people, persons with disabilities and long‑term unemployed. Since its establishment, 64.267 citizens, of which 35.409 are women, have benefited from Job Clubs.

161.As a result of consultancy and job-matching services provided by İŞKUR, 486.733 women in 2019 and 110.021 women by the end of May 2020 were placed to a job.

162.With “Additional Employment Incentive” implemented by İŞKUR since 2018, tax and social security premiums of every additional employment are covered by the state for a maximum of 12 months, while this period is 18 months for women.

163.Within the context of Seminars on Financial Literacy and Economic Empowerment of Women started in 2017 and held in all provinces as of June 2020, 27.279 women were reached.

164.Social-cultural and job-vocational courses are provided for women and girls in penitentiary institutions.

165.Within the context of Export Academy Programme organized by the Ministry of Trade in cooperation with the public and private sector, 1.000 women entrepreneurs were reached in 2019 as part of the trainings organized for the women and young entrepreneurs to become exporters.

166.“Cooperation Protocol on Strengthening Women’s Cooperatives” was signed on 30 October 2018 in cooperation with the MoFLSS, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and Ministry of Trade. In order to ensure the implementation of the protocol locally and guide the practitioners, “Women’s Cooperatives Working Group” was established in all provinces, annual work plans were prepared, various events and meetings were organized. Within the context of these events, a total of 23.277 people were reached as of June 2020 through 536 workshops, trainings and information meetings. 181 cooperatives were visited, and 81 new women’s cooperatives were established.

167.Brochure on “Cooperatives and Women” has been prepared by GDSW as a guide for women on cooperatives. 100,000 copies of the brochure have been printed and distributed.

168.In cooperation with ILO and GDSW, an analysis is conducted for the identification of social, economic and legal tools that can be developed to empower women cooperatives and women through mixed cooperatives.

169.Within the scope of the “Mom’s Job, My Future Project (2013–2019)”, the construction of nurseries in 4 organized industrial zones has been completed and put into service.

170.“The Project on Promotion of Women’s Access to Economic Opportunities” was completed in 2017. Within the scope of the Project:

•“Research on the Supply of and Demand for Child Care and Early Childhood Education Services in Turkey” was conducted;

•Academic studies were supported about women’s employment and they were published on the GDSW web site;

•A research project was carried out and a report was prepared on the status of women’s cooperatives, the obstacles they face, proposals of solutions and the opportunities offered for women’s cooperatives. A report was prepared in this context;

•Workshops titled “Women in the Sector Meetings” were held for the sectors of food, tourism, banking, textile and IT.

171.“Young Ideas, Powerful Women Project (2013–2015)” was carried into effect with the cooperation of the MoFLSS, private sector and NGOs. With the project, it is aimed that young people between the ages of 18–30 will produce project proposals that will contribute to empowering women economically. Within this scope, idea camps were organized in 5 provinces with the participation of almost 500 young persons. Social entrepreneurship training was given to young people who were included in working groups of the 6 projects which became prominent in the idea camps.

172.“The Project on Promotion of Social Integration and Employability of the Disadvantaged People” was carried out by the MoFLSS (2016–2017). Within the scope of the project, a grant of nearly 5 million Euro was provided to 30 projects supporting women’s employment.

173.“Mother at Work Project (2018)” was carried out with the collaboration of İŞKUR and GDSW, aimed at enabling the participation of women who cannot work due to the responsibility of childcare, providing support for their acquisition of vocational qualification and work experience. A daily payment of 95 TL was paid to women for the days of their attendance in courses and programmes. By the end of January 2020, 25.535 women benefited from the project, which was launched as of 1 September 2018.

174.“The Programme for Financing and Counselling Support to Women’s Enterprises” was financed under Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) and implemented in cooperation of İŞKUR and European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) between 2014–2017. Within the scope of the financial component of the project, 300 million Euro fund allocated by the EBRD was made available to SMEs as credit on easy terms through the national banks participating in the programme. Nearly 275 million Euro of the allocated credit were used by 16.840women enterprises. In 32 per cent of enterprises that use credit, an increase in employment was experienced and in 32 per cent, loans have supported employees to stay in employment. Within the scope of enterprise supports component of the project, consultancy to 339 enterprises, mentorship to 73 enterprises and training to 657 enterprises were provided. More than 6.000 women were reached through publicity and visibility activities. An increase in employment was observed in 47 per cent of the enterprises benefiting from 334 consultancy projects assessed; a net employment increase of 1.354 people reported, of whom 861 is women; income increase was experienced in 78 per cent of the enterprises and 44 per cent of the enterprises received foreign investment a year after the completion of the project.

175.“The Project on More and Better Jobs for Women: Empowerment of Women through Decent Work in Turkey” carried out with the collaboration of İŞKUR and ILO Office for Turkey was completed in 2018. Within the scope of the Project:

•“The Action Plan on Women’s Employment” was implemented between 2016–2018. In order to ensure the implementation of the Action Plan at local level as well, Provincial Action Plans on Women’s Employment were prepared in four pilot provinces, namely Ankara, Bursa, Istanbul and Konya. During the implementation phase of the action plan, the number of women benefiting from on the job training programmes increased by 96 per cent. The number of women benefiting from entrepreneurship training programme increased by 131, 5 per cent. In private sector, the rate of women employed through İŞKUR rose from 29 per cent to 34 per cent. (Recommendation 46 (a));

•Gender breakdown was added to the survey used in open job analysis conducted by İŞKUR;

•Gender equality trainings were delivered to almost 450 İŞKUR personnel and job search skills seminars and consultancy services were provided to 830 women who received vocational training from the municipalities that are project partners;

•Following entrepreneurship trainings delivered to 400 women in pilot provinces, micro grant support and consultancy service were provided for 28 women.

176.“The Project on Supporting Registered Employment of Women Through Institutional Childcare Services (INST-CARE)” was launched by Social Security Institution on 1 April 2019. The project aims support 10.250 women who have children and who are at risk of leaving labour market due to their childcare responsibilities, to participate in formal employment, to return to work life or to remain in the labour market by supporting them financially for institutional childcare.

177.“The Project on Supporting Registered Employment of Women through Promoting Educated Child-Caregivers (EDU-CARE)” was launched by Social Security Institution on 1 May 2019. The Project aims to increase mothers’ participation in the labour force, support working mothers and promote registered employment of child-caregivers. With the Project, it is targeted to reach a total of 3.700 mothers in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Furthermore, within the scope of the project, a payment of up to 300 Euro for once is planned for 6.000 child-caregivers, provided that they complete their trainings.

178.“The Project on Supporting Registered Employment of Women Through Home-Based Child Care Services (NANNY)”, co-financed by EU and Republic of Turkey and implemented by Social Security Institution between March 2015–November 2017 provided a monthly financial support of up to 416 Euro for mothers having babies of 0–24 months, residing in Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, Istanbul and Izmir, working under a labour contract, who were back in work life or newly-employed, in order to enable them to employ a child caregiver for the care of their children. Throughout the Project lasting for 32 months, financial support was provided for a total of 11.360 working mothers with little children for childcare and 15.232 women were employed as insured child caregiver. A total of 26.592 women benefited from the project having a budget of 49,6 million Euro.

179.In 2019, 19.405 women benefited from entrepreneurship training programmes organized by İŞKUR with the aim of enabling women to stand on their own feet and to create employment.

180.The number of enterprises owned by women entrepreneurs benefiting from the supports provided by KOSGEB has tripled over the past 5 years. See Table 22 for the amount of supports provided for women entrepreneurs by years.

181.It is aimed to increase the employment of qualified workforce in enterprises with the Qualified Staff Employment Support provided within the scope of KOSGEB Enterprise Development Support Programme, which was initiated in 2018. The rate of support is 60 per cent. In case the personnel to be employed under the Qualified Staff Employment Support is women, an extra 20 per cent is added to the support rate. The number of qualified female personnel who benefited from the Enterprise Development Support Programme in 2019 and January–June 2020 is 6.126.

182.Since 2010, more than 1,5 million citizens throughout Turkey have attended to KOSGEB’s Applied Entrepreneurship Trainings, which are free of charge and open to every citizen. In July 2019, KOSGEB has established the e-Academy by moving its education service to the electronic environment and made entrepreneurship trainings available to all citizens free of charge by distance (online) learning method. Approximately 38 per cent of the participants who received certificate within the scope of free online entrepreneurship training provided by KOSGEB e-Academy were women entrepreneurs.

183.Vocational training courses, on the job training programmes and entrepreneurship trainings are organized by İŞKUR within the scope of active labour market programmes as a solution to the problem of the lack of profession and experience. In the first five months of 2020, 82.286 women participated in active labour market programmes. See Table 23, for the number of persons participating in active labour market programmes over the past 5 years.

184.Supports such as leading to vocational training, providing guidance to find job and monitoring of outcomes are offered for the victims of violence in women service units affiliated to the MoFLSS in line with the related legislation.

185.From 2014 to April 2020, 6.969 women victims of violence getting service from women’s shelters affiliated to the MoFLSS, were placed to a job.

186.Works for calculating the gender pay gap in Turkey are carried out in line with the protocol signed between TURKSTAT and ILO in 2020, to contribute to the target of achieving decent work for all women and men and equal pay for work of equal value, within the framework of Sustainable Development Goals, under the goal of “8. Decent Work and Economic Growth”. (Recommendation 46 (c)).

187.According to the Article 5 of the Minimum Wage Regulation, in the determination of minimum wage, no distinction can be made based on language, race, colour, sex, disability, political thought, philosophical belief, religion and sect and similar reasons. Within the scope of the current minimum wage practice in Turkey, the principle of equality between women and men is observed while determining the minimum wage. (Recommendation 46 (d)).

188.Remuneration criteria in work permits are in place in accordance with ILO Convention No. 100 on Equal Remuneration and CEDAW Committee General Recommendation No. 13 on equal remuneration for work of equal value. Foreigners working in Turkey are not paid below the minimum wage, as is the case for Turkish citizens.

189.In 2019, 88.893 women attended vocational training courses organized by İŞKUR for persons without a profession or persons seeking to advance in their profession or acquire new skills. Until the end of May 2020, 22.032 women attended vocational training courses corresponding to 68,5 per cent of all attendees.

190.In 2019, 193.646 women attended on the job training programmes. Until the end of May 2020, 60.254 women attended to these programmes.

191.Within the scope of a total of 2.578 vocational and technical course programmes implemented by the MoNE in lifelong learning institutions; 408 courses were opened in accommodation and travel services and 2.513 women were awarded a certificate. The number of course programmes in patient and elderly services was 660 and 4.554 women trainees received a certificate. In addition, there are 75 course programmes in the field of information technologies.

192.29.050 women receiving service from women’s shelters affiliated to the MoFLSS have attended vocational courses.

193.A monthly childcare support of 400 TL during the course/programme is granted to women with children aged 2–5 years who are attending the courses and programmes organized by İŞKUR in industry sector. 572 women benefited from the project by the end of May 2020, which was started to be implemented as of 1 October 2018.

194.From 2014 until April 2020, 107.832 children staying with their mothers in women’s shelters affiliated to the MoFLSS benefited from crèches and children club services.

Article 12

195.Article 10 of the Constitution establishes the principle of equality before the law and within the framework of this Article, all citizens are provided equally with reproductive healthcare services, modern contraceptive material supplies, access to contraceptive methods and consultancy services. Public trainings are also held to raise awareness in the community. (Recommendation 48 (a)).

196.In addition to the policies and measures included under the title “Health” in the 11th Development Plan, some other measures regarding women’s health were identified under the title of “Women”: (1) Awareness-raising activities will be carried out to increase the participation of women in relevant target groups for cancer screening programmes throughout the country. (2) Awareness-raising activities will be carried out in order to improve health literacy among women.

197.In accordance with the 2020 Annual Presidential Programme, medical screening of breast and cervix is carried out at the Cancer Early Diagnosis, Screening and Training Centres and the awareness on early diagnosis of cancer is increased in order to reduce the risk of getting cancer among women. The rate of benefitting from prenatal care services, which is important for maternal health, was reached to 99,5 per cent as of 2018.

198.According to the TURKSTAT’s life tables for 2016–2018, the life expectancy at birth is 81,0 for women while it is 75,6 for men. The total fertility rate is 1,88 according to 2019 TURKSTAT data.

199.The Ministry of Health has continued to hold “Monitoring Programme for Women Aged 15–49” and “Pre-Marriage Counselling Programme”. As of 2018, 2.691.744 people were provided with Pre-Marriage Counselling service and a number of 39.206 medical staff received Pre-Marriage Counselling Training.

200.Within the scope of the “Programme for Male Involvement in Reproductive Health Services”, training programmes have been carried out on the subjects of the genital organs, sexual health, sexual infections, HIV/AIDS and their social consequences, pregnancy, reproductive health methods, safe maternity, gender and domestic violence in all military units throughout the country with the collaboration of the Ministry of Health, Turkish Armed Forces Medical Command and UNFPA.

201.The rate of benefiting from prenatal care services, which is important for maternal health, has reached to 99,5 per cent as of 2018. Within the scope of the Postnatal Care Programme, the rate of women who were monitored at least once at postnatal period is 99,5 per cent.

202.Within the scope of fight against early marriages, the fertility rate among adolescents in Turkey (average live births per 1.000 women between 15–19 age group) has declined to 17 per thousand in 2019 while it was 49 per thousand in 2001.

203.Prenatal care programme is one of the routine services that is applied across the country in order to increase maternal health level and reduce maternal mortality. According to “Prenatal Care Management Guide” medical monitoring should be done at least four times if the pregnancy is not high-risky. High-Risk Pregnancy protocols are also being prepared.

204.The maternal mortality rate which was 16,4 per hundred thousand in 2010 has a tendency to decrease over the years and decreased to 13,6 per hundred thousand in 2018. See Table 24 for infant mortality rates for the period 2014–2019, and see Table 25 for the rates of birth delivery at hospital and caesarean delivery for the period 2014–2018.

205.With the Pregnant Information Class Programme, it is aimed to ensure that all pregnant women are informed about prenatal, natal and postnatal care and they give births consciously, to provide expectant parents with knowledge and skills in vaginal delivery, pain management and adoption of their new roles. As of 2018, a number of 1,470 Pregnant Information Classes were active. A number of 915.426 pregnant women received training between 2015–2018 in these classes.

206.As of June 2020, there have been 79 healthcare facilities labelled as “Mother-Friendly Hospital”.

207.“Birth with Hydrotherapy (HET)/Birth in Water Pilot Study”, which means that pregnant women stay in a water-filled bathtub/pool with a certain temperature and depth at the first stage of birth-delivery process, has been carried out. A pilot study was initiated in 14 health facilities within the Public Hospitals, and a total of 1,776 patients benefited from the HET service in 2020.

208.Conditional Pregnancy, Birth and Postnatal Healthcare Assistance Programme is implemented by MoFLSS for the most needy expectant mothers. Expectant mothers are paid with 45 TL in case they are monitored monthly during pregnancy, 100 TL for once if the delivery is carried out in a hospital and 45 TL per month for bimonthly checks after birth.

209.From 2014 to April 2020, a number of 116.048 women staying in women’s shelters affiliated to the MoFLSS benefited from the medical care services. In addition, requests for assistance regarding the expenses of women who are victims of violence and their children staying in women’s shelters that cannot be covered by the relevant legislation are evaluated by the Board of Trustees of Social Assistance and Solidarity Foundations, and necessary support is provided.

210.In order to prevent individuals from discrimination and stigma, the reports of patients diagnosed with AIDS are issued in an encoded manner without mentioning name. “HIV/AIDS Control Programme of Turkey (2019–2024)” was published in July 2019 in order to combat the risk factors causing spreading of HIV/AIDS, to ensure that each individual could get diagnosis, treatment and care support equally in line with the mission of protecting and improving the health of the society and human rights. (Recommendation 48 (c)).

211.Based on the Law No. 2827 and the Regulation No. 510 issued on the basis of this Law, optional uterine evacuation is legal for up to ten-week pregnancies. For the pregnancies exceeding ten weeks, the Regulation defines the conditions under which the uterus can be evacuated. (Recommendation 48 (b)).

212.Immigrants who are registered in Turkey can apply directly to health care facilities affiliated to the Ministry of Health without any referral to the hospital. Migrant Health Centres were established with physical and technical standards similar to the family practice centres in order to provide more effective and efficient primary and preventive health services for Syrians under temporary protection, to overcome the problems arising from the language and cultural barriers, and to increase access to health services. Currently, there are 780 active migrant health units established in 180 Migrant Health Centres in 29 provinces. (Recommendation 15 (a)).

213.Through 30 Women’s Health Advisory Centres established in the Migrant Health Centres, studies are carried out for supporting and improving women’s health, reproductive health, adolescent health and combatting sexual-based violence especially for women, pregnants, puerperants, newborns, lactants, women subjected to violence and youth who are among risk groups.

Article 13

214.In order to provide economic support to women who receives service from women’s shelters and their children, a stipend is paid. 8.436 persons in 2016, 10.277 in 2017, 11.571 in 2018, 11.159 in 2019, and as of 30 May 2.769 in 2020 were paid stipend.

215.The efforts to expand the Family Social Support Programme (ASDEP) by the MoFLSS throughout the country are continued. ASDEP aims to provide a holistic approach to the needs of the family and offer supply-oriented social assistance and services.

216.Within the scope of the assistance programmes carried out by the General Directorate of Social Assistance of the MoFLSS, women constituted 61 per cent of the social assistance beneficiaries, 67 per cent of the regular assistance beneficiaries and 54 per cent of the periodic assistance beneficiaries in 2019.

217.With the legislative arrangement made on 27 March 2015, “maternity benefit” was put into effect. Accordingly, 300 TL for the first child born alive, 400 TL for the second child and 600 TL for the third and subsequent children is provided to the Turkish citizens. As of 31 May 2020, a total of 2.426.190.353 TL was provided to 5.493.180 people for 5.767.893 children.

218.Socio-Economic Support Services covers the social and economic support services provided to support families in the care of children and young people who are in poverty, who cannot meet their basic needs and who have difficulties in maintaining their lives. As of May 2020, 144.174 children were supported by the socio-economic support services. See Table 26 for the budget used for these services by years. See Table 27 for the distribution of the socio-economic support beneficiaries according to the education groups.

219.Youth Centres affiliated to the Ministry of Youth and Sports offer young people the opportunity to participate in cultural, artistic and social activities in 81 provinces and district centres. Since 2014, the number of women members of these youth centres has been 1.206.386 (51.97 per cent).

220.As part of the “Social Adaptation and Youth Participation Project” carried out by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in cooperation with UNICEF, works are being conducted to strengthen women under temporary protection, to ensure them to learn Turkish, enable them to acquire life skills and provide necessary psycho-social support. In this context, individual interviews were held with 1.353 Syrian girls in 2019.

221.See Table 28 for the number of licensed athletes between 2017–2020.

222.Data on the number of members of public libraries and the number of users borrowing materials from public libraries show that women use libraries more intensely than men. (See Tables 29–30–31).

Article 14

223.The 11th Development Plan includes the following measure: “Cooperative Support System will be implemented and financial support tools will be developed. Within this framework, the machinery and equipment purchase of cooperatives, employment of qualified personnel, and purchase of fixtures and promotional expenditures of cooperatives will be supported with subsidized loans. Over the Plan period, support will be provided to cooperatives operating in priority sectors, particularly agricultural sales cooperatives, women’s cooperatives, and social cooperatives.”

224.“Sub-Commission on Empowerment of Women and Supporting Women Entrepreneurship in Rural Areas” was established by KEFEK on 27.01.2016. The Commission completed its report in 2019 and submitted to the GNAT. The report identified obstacles to the entrepreneurship of women living in rural areas and the problems experienced in their employment and to developed concrete solutions for these problems.

225.Within the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, there are a total of 43 Agricultural Development Cooperatives in 33 provinces, whose founders and most of their partners are women. Between 2014–2019, 1.314 farmer meetings were held and 23.215 women farmers were trained on cooperatives.

226.Between 2015 and 2019, 560.634 women farmers were trained through 70.763 agricultural, home economy and social activities for rural women.

227.Through the specific provincial projects that have been implemented since 2015 for women farmers, it is aimed to increase the employability of women farmers, increase their entrepreneurship capacities and contribute to regional development. With these projects, various trainings are provided based on each project topic. In this context, between 2015 and 2019, 1.679 women farmers received training through 25 specific projects, and 340 women farmers were provided with employment opportunities.

228.“Capacity Development Support to Rural Women on the Socio-Economic and Gender Aspects of Sustainable Rural Development Project” (2013–2016) was carried out in cooperation with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Within the scope of the project carried out in Kars, Kastamonu and Antalya provinces, a questionnaire was applied to a total of 150 women farmers and 30 extension staff for the design and implementation of the training programme; “Gender Sensitive Agricultural Extension” training of trainers was provided for 30 extension staff and; “Entrepreneurship, Product Development and Marketing” training was provided for 30 women farmers.

229.Mobile health services are provided in Turkey in settlements where access to healthcare is difficult, to ensure accessibility, sustainability and effectiveness of preventive health services. Within the scope of mobile health services, preventive and curative health services are also provided for the seasonal agricultural workers and their families in the field.

Article 15

230.In Turkey, significant arrangements have been made in many laws, especially in the Constitution, to ensure the equality of women and men. See Combined 4th and 5th Periodic Report, 6th Periodic Report Article 1, Article 2-a/b/f, Article 4-1/2, 7th Periodic Report Article 1, Article 2 for these arrangements.

231.According to the Article 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey entitled “Equality before the law”; Everyone is equal before the law without distinction as to language, race, colour, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion and sect, or any such grounds. Men and women have equal rights. The State has the obligation to ensure that this equality exists in practice. Measures taken for this purpose shall not be interpreted as contrary to the principle of equality. Measures to be taken for children, the elderly, disabled people, widows and orphans of martyrs as well as for the invalid and veterans shall not be considered as violation of the principle of equality. No privilege shall be granted to any individual, family, group or class. State organs and administrative authorities are obliged to act in compliance with the principle of equality before the law in all their proceedings. Within this context, all individuals that make up the Republic of Turkey is equal before the Law.

232.In this sense, it is not possible to prioritize any political thought, ethnic structure or religious belief against others. Contrary to what is stated in the CEDAW Concluding Observations, rather than alienating Kurdish women in terms of their fundamental rights, many legal arrangements have been made in order to increase participation of all women to political, social, cultural and economic life and numerous organizations, courses, social activities are being organized by the central and local administrations. (Recommendation 13).

233.Pursuant to Article 5 of the Labour Law No. 4857 titled “Principle of Equal Treatment”, no discrimination based on language, race, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion and sect or similar reasons shall be permissible in the employment relationship; except for biological reasons or reasons related to the nature of the job, the employer must not make any discrimination, either directly or indirectly, against an employee in the conclusion, conditions, execution and termination of her/his employment contract due to the employee’s sex or maternity; and as per sub-paragraph (d) of paragraph 3 of Article 18 sub-titled “Justification of termination with a valid reason”, race, colour, sex, marital status, family responsibilities, pregnancy, religion, political opinion, national extraction or social origin shall not constitute a valid reason for termination.

234.In Article 3 of the Turkish Penal Code No. 5237 entitled “The Principle of Equal Treatment before the Law”, it is stipulated that in the implementation of the Code, no one shall receive any privilege and there shall be no discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, language, religion, sect, nationality, colour, gender, political (or other) ideas and thought, philosophical beliefs, ethnic or social background, birth, economic and other social positions. Also, in line with the provision of Article 5 titled “Relation with the Special Laws”, Article 3 under the general provisions, may be applied to all crimes not only for special criminal statutes and but also to other laws which include penal sanctions.

235.Furthermore, with regard to discrimination, special provisions were stipulated in Article 76 of the Turkish Penal Code No. 5237 titled “Genocide”, in Article 115 titled “Prevention of the Exercise of Freedom of Belief, Conception and Conviction”, in Article 122 titled “Hatred and Discrimination”, in sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 3 of Article 125 titled “Insult”, in Article 135 titled “Recording of Personal Data”, in paragraph 3 of Article 153 titled “Damaging Places of Worship and Cemeteries”, in Article 216 titled “Provoking the Public to Hatred, Hostility or Degrading”.

Article 16

236.In the 11th Development Plan, the measure of “The necessary studies will be done in order to ensure the effective enforcement of the regulations to prevent violence against women and early and forced marriages” is included.

237.In 2017 and 2018, “Provincial Action Plans for Combating Early and Forced Marriages” were put into effect in 19 provinces where early and forced marriage rates were high.

238.Within the scope of the “2018–2019 Joint Working Plan” prepared by the MoFLSS and UNICEF, workshops, seminars and trainings were organized for service providers (law enforcement officers, healthcare professionals, social workers, judicial personnel, civil administration staff, etc.) working in public institutions and non‑governmental organizations for the prevention of early and forced marriage. In this context, a total of 1.050 public officials were trained on topics such as “Empowerment of Women”, “Combating Violence against Women”, “Combating Forced Marriages at Early Age”, “Interview Techniques with Victims”.

239.16.589 staff working at 81 Provincial Directorates of MoFLSS were given “Training on Combating Early Marriage and Forced Marriages”.

240.According to the Turkish Civil Code No. 4721, for a legal marriage, it is obligatory to have mutual consent. (Recommendation 54).

241.Turkish Civil Code covers very detailed provisions on the rights of the parties on marriage in general and on children, divorcing and its secondary consequences, separation, inheritance, determining the property regime and child’s property.

242.It is stipulated that a father may recognize a child through a written application to a civil servant or court, or by the declaration made in his official bill or by his will, and that the mother and child may request the court to determine the paternity between the child and the father.

243.Various provisions of the Constitution, particularly Article 10 regulating equality between women and men, the provisions of the Turkish Civil Code (TCC), which regulate the marriage conditions and the regulations regarding the education of girls play an important role in preventing early marriage and forced marriage. The TCC, which entered into force in 2002, clearly puts emphasis on the principle of equality. The Civil Code has given equal rights to men and women in the marriage institution. Similarly, it revised the institution of marriage as a partnership based on “equality of spouses” and based on equal participation of spouses in decisions on family matters. According to TCC, women and men who reached the age of 18 can marry without the consent and permission of anyone and those who completed the age of 17 can marry with the permission of their parents and those who completed the age of 16 can marry with the decision of the judge in exceptional circumstances and for a very important reason. (Recommendation 54 (a)).

244.Mean age at first marriage for women increased from 24,2 in 2014 to 25 in 2019.

245.According to the marriage statistics, the rate of official marriage of girls aged 16–17 in total official marriages decreased from 5,8 per cent in 2014 to 3,1 per cent in 2019.

246.According to the data of marriage at 16–17 years old stated in the 2019 Marriage Statistics published by the TURKSTAT, early marriages decreased for both sexes compared to the previous year. While the number of early marriages was 1.029 for boys and 20.809 for girls in 2018, the numbers deceased to 940 for boys and 17.047 for girls in 2019.

247.The issue of woman’s surname is regulated in Article 187 of the Turkish Civil Code. According to the Law, it is possible for women to use their previous surnames before their husbands’ surnames, by making necessary applications to the authorized institutions during the marriage or at any time afterwards. In the light of the developments mentioned, women were given the opportunity to use their own surnames in accordance with the individual application decisions of the Constitutional Court and the decision of the General Assembly of the Law of the Supreme Court. (Recommendation 54 (b)).

248.See the Combined 4th and 5th Periodic Report, 6th Periodic Report and 7th Periodic Report for detailed information on the relevant provisions of the Civil Code.

249.The services of Family Counselling, Divorce Process Consultancy (Before Divorce, During Divorce Process and After Divorce), Individual Consultancy are provided free of charge in order to support the solution of the problems experienced by married couples in their marriage or to refer the couples to the related institutions who decided to divorce due to problems in marriage to manage this process in a healthier way.

250.Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, which emerged at the time of the preparation of this report, additional measures were introduced to eliminate the spread of COVID‑19 virus in the women’s shelters, which are among the leading institutional service mechanisms in combating violence against women. In this context, utmost care is given to ensure hygiene in the organizations; the health checks of women and their accompanying children are performed during the admission and cooperation is provided with health institutions when necessary; studies are carried out for the personnel of the organization on issues to be considered during the pandemic and to ensure the motivation of the personnel. Socially isolated units are arranged in institutions for women who will get service from the institution for the first time and the children accompanying them or for women and their children who stayed in a hospital for a certain period of time for treatment of health problems and returned to the institution following their discharge from the hospital; in case the isolation unit cannot be established in women’s shelters, they are kept under quarantine for at least 14 days at the social facilities, dormitories or similar places belonging to public institutions and organizations within the scope of the Law No. 6284. At the end of the 14-day quarantine period, if it is determined that they do not have any suspicious health conditions, women and their children are admitted to women’s shelters.

251.All institutions are periodically disinfected, and measures are taken to ensure social isolation. A total of 65 facilities, 18 public institutions, 20 shelters, 21 hotels and 6 dormitories in 49 provinces, are used for housing purposes.

252.During the pandemic, trainings and information meetings have been carried out online without delay. Through distance education, women’s shelter managers have also been provided with trainings on service standards and the self-assessment guide.