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Prohibition of Discrimination and Equality

Human Rights and Equality Institution of Türkiye was established with the Law No. 6701 with the purposes of

  • Protection and promotion of human rights,
  • Guaranteeing individuals’ right to equal treatment, prevention of discrimination in the exercise of legally recognized rights and freedoms,
  • Effectively fight against torture and ill-treatment and act as of National Prevention Mechanism.

In accordance with Article 3 of the Law No. 6701 titled "Principle of Equality and Non-Discrimination”, everyone is equal in in the exercise of legally recognized rights and freedoms. In case of violation of the non-discrimination principle, relevant competent and responsible public institutions and agencies and public professional organizations with public institution status are obliged to take the necessary measures for detection of discrimination, to eliminate the consequences, to prevent recurrence and to ensure judicial and administrative follow-up. In terms of natural persons and legal persons established under private law that are responsible within the scope of the prohibition of discrimination, they have obligations to detect, eliminate and ensure equality in matters of their jurisdiction.

In the second paragraph of Article 3 of the Law, it is regulated that discrimination against persons based on the grounds of sex, race, colour, language, religion, belief, sect, philosophical or political opinion, ethnical origin, wealth, birth, marital status, health status, disability and age is prohibited under the Law. The grounds aforementioned are determined by counting (numerus clausus); other than these, cases where discrimination is claimed on a ground that wasn’t mentioned in the Law or without any basis are excluded from the scope of the Law.

According to Article 4 of the Law titled “Types of Discrimination”;

(1) The types of discriminations falling the scope of this Law are as follows:

  1. a) Segregation
  2. b) Instruction to discriminate and following such instructions
  3. c) Multiple discrimination
  4. d) Direct discrimination
  5. e) Indirect discrimination
  6. f) Mobbing
  7. g) Failure to make reasonable adjustments
  8. h) Abuse
  9. i) Discrimination based on an assumed ground"

(2) Unfavorable treatments sustained by persons as well as their representatives who launch administrative or judicial proceedings or take part in such proceedings in order to ensure the respect of the equal treatment and prevent discrimination on account of such proceedings also constitutes a discrimination.

In Article 5 of the Law, the scope of the non-discrimination is regulated in a broad framework. According to this; professional bodies with public institution status, natural persons and legal persons established under private law providing services of education and training, judiciary, law enforcement, health, transportation, communication, social security, social services, social assistance, sports, accommodation, culture, tourism and similar services shall not discriminate persons who use or have applied to use or wishing to be informed of such services.

The powers and duties of the Institution within the scope of the Law No. 6701 are as follows:

  1. Inquiring, examining, taking a final decision on and monitoring the consequences of non-discrimination violations ex officio or upon application,
  2. Raising public awareness on equality and prohibition of discrimination through providing information and education including by use of mass media,
  3. Contributing to the preparation of the parts of the curriculum of the national education curriculum related to the prohibition of discrimination and equality,
  4. Carrying out joint activities with universities in order to eliminating discrimination and improve the understanding of equality in society, contributing to the establishment of human rights and equality-related departments at universities in coordination with the Council of Higher Education and to determining the curriculum for human rights and equality education.
  5. Preparing and submitting to the Board the opinions requested by judicial bodies, public institutions and organizations and persons concerned regarding their duties under the prohibition of discrimination,
  6. Contributing to the determination and implementation of the principles of pre-profession and in-profession prohibition of discrimination and equality education programs of public institutions and organizations,
  7. Monitoring and assessing the studies of legislation related to the prohibition of discrimination and informing the relevant authorities about Institution’s opinions and suggestions,
  8. Submitting the examinations and researches, prepared reports and similar studies carried out within the scope of the institution’s duty to combat discrimination, to the Board for evaluation, to notify and follow up the results of these to the relevant persons, agencies and organizations, and initiating legal proceedings against those found responsible,
  9. Monitoring and evaluating the legislation studies related to the duties of the institution within the scope of the prohibition of discrimination, and to prepare opinions and suggestions regarding these,
  10. Assisting those who apply to the Institution with the allegation of being a victim of violations of the prohibition of discrimination, in order to guide them through the administrative and legal processes they can use to resolve their grievances, and to enable them to follow up their applications,
  11. Cooperating with public institutions and agencies, non-governmental organizations, professional organizations and universities working within the scope of equality and prohibition of discrimination,
  12. Preparing annual reports on the fight against discrimination to be submitted to the Presidency and the Presidency of the Grand National Assembly of Türkiye,
  13. Providing information to the public, to publish regular annual reports and special reports on the Institution’s field of duty when necessary,
  14. Supporting the activities of other institutions to prevent discrimination,
  15. Cooperating with public institutions and organizations, non-governmental organizations, professional organizations and universities working in the field of protecting human rights and fighting against discrimination.