Extent of Protection
The principle of equality before the law is regulated in the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey. In this context, everyone is equal before the law, regardless of language, race, color, gender, political thought, philosophical belief, religion, sect, and similar reasons. Women and men have equal rights. The state is responsible for ensuring that this equality is realized.
Please also see our detailed explanations under Section V Anti-Discrimination Laws above.
An employe can file a lawsuit against the employer and claim compensation for discrimination and bad faith.
On the other hand, an administrative fine of TRY 397 per worker for the year 2022 may be imposed on the employer who violates the principle of equal treatment.
The Supreme Court seeks proof that there is a wage gap between workers of similar nature. Moreover, Supreme Court states that even if it is accepted that such a wage difference is created between workers of similar nature, the difference created in wages alone will not necessitate a judgment for discrimination compensation. Also, the burden of proof concerning the breach of the equal treatment principle rests with the claimant employee. For an employee to be entitled to this compensation, it is necessary to put forward strong evidence of the existence of the violation and the contrary must not be proven by the employer.
The Prime Ministry Circular No. 2010/14 on “Increasing Women’s Employment and Promotion of Equality in Opportunities” was published in the Official Gazette and entered into force on 25th May 2010 in order to increase women employment and to implement equal pay for equal work principle for strengthening the socio-economic positions of women, implementing the equality of women and men in social life, and achieving the sustainable economic growth and social progress. In this circular, it is stated that in all kinds of audits carried out for both public and private sector workplaces, the issues of whether the provisions regarding gender equality expressed in Article 5 of the Labour Law are complied with will be included in the audit report. However, it cannot be said that such controls are encountered in practice.
Next to the obligation to publish a bi-annual report and the possibility to take positive actions, the Act of 28 July 2011 inserted a quota of at least one third of the less represented sex for all members of the Board of Directors of autonomous public undertakings, listed companies and the National Lottery, which had to be fulfilled before specific deadlines. Failure to comply with these provisions may result in sanctions: nullity of the appointment or suspension of financial benefits. Parliament’s evaluation of the impact of the law on the presence of women on boards of directors, is scheduled for the twelfth year following its entry into force, i.e. 2023.