Turkey

   

Social Policies

#34
Key Findings
With the pressure of refugee care stressing social budgets, Turkey scores relatively poorly (rank 34) with regard to social policies. Its score on this measure has improved by 0.6 points relative to 2014.

Near-universal primary enrollment was achieved in 2013 – 2014, but gender gaps increase strongly at higher educational levels. Thousands of teachers were dismissed and numerous schools and universities closed in the wake of the coup attempt. Income inequality is very substantial, but poverty rates are falling.

Health care quality is steadily improving, with near-universal health-insurance coverage achieved by 2014, but cost pressures are growing. The employment rate for women is very low. The government’s conservative family-affairs stance has provoked ongoing debate on gender equality. Crime is poorly controlled, and the number of murders of women has increased.

A new government program creates pension plans for all public and private sector employees under 45, and matches 25% of employee contributions. The Syrian civil war has produced around 3.5 million refugees in Turkey, along with massive financial burdens. The EU has provided some funding, but only a small fraction of the more than €22 billion that Turkey has spent since the beginning of the conflict.

Education

#41

To what extent does education policy deliver high-quality, equitable and efficient education and training?

10
 9

Education policy fully achieves the criteria.
 8
 7
 6


Education policy largely achieves the criteria.
 5
 4
 3


Education policy partially achieves the criteria.
 2
 1

Education policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Education Policy
3
Over the years, Turkey has made significant progress in increasing access to education. In the 2014 – 2015 school year, Turkey achieved almost universal primary school enrollment. Secondary-school enrollment was 79.4% during the same year. The government is actively seeking to expand secondary-school enrollment to comply with the new “4+4+4” law on education. The gender-based enrollment gap has nearly disappeared for primary education and has narrowed significantly for secondary education. However, Turkey ranked 101 out of 144 countries for educational attainment in the 2017 Gender Gap Report. The report indicated that 92.6% of women and 98.6% of men are literate, the enrollment rate in primary education is 93.7% for women and 94.6% for men, the enrollment rate in secondary education is 85.5% for women and 87.2% for men, and the enrollment rate in tertiary education is 88.3% for women and 101% for men. Furthermore, pre-primary education (i.e., three to five year olds) and higher education enrollment rates are increasing rapidly

Regarding the quality of education, the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 scored Turkey’s performance relatively low. Although Turkey’s scores have improved significantly over time and inequality in student performance has declined, the performance of an average 15 year old in Turkey for reading, mathematics and science is not satisfactory. According to PISA results, 31.2% of Turkish students underperformed in mathematics, sciences and reading. Turkey scored 420 points on the math test and ranked 49 out of 72 countries. Turkey ranked 52 in science and 50 in reading out of 72 countries. PISA 2015 results indicate that a large percentage of students in Turkey cannot understand what they are reading.

As the government seeks to improve the quality of education, education spending has become the largest item in the national budget. Expenditure on education now accounts for nearly a quarter of government revenue. The proportion of GDP allocated to education from the government budget has increased significantly, from 2.5% in 2000 to 4.9% in 2014. Also, in the aftermath of the failed 2016 coup attempt and the subsequent state of emergency period, thousands of teachers, especially in Turkey’s southeastern regions have been dismissed due to alleged links to terrorist organizations. Furthermore, schools, universities, student dormitories, foundations, centers and non-governmental organizations have been shut down and assets have been seized. The government plans to hire new staff to fill the gaps.

Despite announcements on the issue, the government continued to refrain from strengthening universities’ autonomy, and the universities’ ability to act autonomously further deteriorated after the failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016. The aftermath of the failed coup attempt had severe impact on academic freedoms. During this period according to Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe a very large number of academics were dismissed through appended lists in emergency decrees, without any due process and with no judicial remedy.

Citations:
Commissioner for Human Rights (2017) ‘Human Rights in Turkey – The Urgent Need for a New Beginning’,’ Council of Europe (March 10 2017).

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (2017) ‘Turkey’ in Education at a Glance 2017, OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris: OECD

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (2017) ‘PISA 2015 Key Findings for Turkey,’ Paris: OECD

World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap Report 2017, Geneva.

Social Inclusion

#40

To what extent does social policy prevent exclusion and decoupling from society?

10
 9

Policies very effectively enable societal inclusion and ensure equal opportunities.
 8
 7
 6


For the most part, policies enable societal inclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 5
 4
 3


For the most part, policies fail to prevent societal exclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 2
 1

Policies exacerbate unequal opportunities and exclusion from society.
Social Inclusion Policy
5
Despite a decline in Turkey’s Gini coefficient from 40.3 in 2006 to 39.6 in 2016, income distribution in Turkey continues to be among the OECD’s most unequal. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, the fifth income quintile accounted for 47.2% of income in 2016, while the first income quintile accounted for only 6.2%. According to the World Bank (2017), poverty continues to decrease but at a slower rate than before the 2009 global economic crisis. The proportion of the population living below the poverty line (i.e., $5.5 a day in 2011 at purchasing power parity) fell to a low of 10.5% in 2016 from 27.3% a decade earlier. Poverty in Turkey is particularly prevalent among people with lower educational attainment, workers in the informal sector, unpaid family carers and homemakers, rural populations and the elderly. The World Bank estimated that the poverty rate will decline to 9.3% in 2017 and to 8.9% in 2018.

The government has developed an integrated social-assistance system geared toward helping welfare recipients get out of poverty. Since 2011 responsibility for all central government social-assistance benefits has been combined under the new Ministry of Family and Social Policies. This ministry has worked to strengthen social inclusion. The government has been implementing an Integrated Social-Assistance Information System, using a single proxy means test to target benefits more effectively. Links between the social-assistance system and active labor market policies implemented by ISKUR are being strengthened. According to the World Bank (2017), poverty reduction has been driven by the availability of more and better-paid jobs, with social transfers playing a minor role.

The refugee crisis created an extra burden on the government’s efforts to improve the quality of social inclusion. Local governments and several civil society organizations share this burden on ad hoc manner.

Citations:
World Bank (2017) ‘Country Snapshot,’ Washington D.C.

Health

#30

To what extent do health care policies provide high-quality, inclusive and cost-efficient health care?

10
 9

Health care policy achieves the criteria fully.
 8
 7
 6


Health care policy achieves the criteria largely.
 5
 4
 3


Health care policy achieves the criteria partly.
 2
 1

Health care policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Health Policy
7
The 2003 Health Transformation Program has produced significant improvements in Turkey’s health care system in terms of access, insurance coverage and services. As a result, the health status of Turkey’s population has improved significantly. In particular, the maternal mortality rate fell from 28.5 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005 to 16 deaths a decade later. There has also been a sharp decline in infant mortality from 20.3 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005 to 11 in 2016. As a result, Turkey has met its Millennium Development Goal target on both counts.

Recently, new legislation was introduced restructuring the Ministry of Health and its subordinate units, while enhancing its role in health-system policy development, planning, monitoring and evaluation. A new public health institution has been established to support the work of the Ministry of Health in the area of preventive health care services.

By 2014, Turkey had achieved near-universal health-insurance coverage, increasing financial security and improving equity in access to health care nationwide. The scope of the vaccination program has been broadened; the scope of newborn screening and support programs have been extended; community-based mental-health services have been created; and cancer screening centers offering free services have been established in many cities.

The key challenge in health care is to keep costs under control as demand for health care increases, the population ages and new technologies are introduced. Total health expenditure as a share of GDP has been increasing steadily since 2003, reaching 5.4% in 2015. In 2015, 78% of this spending was funded by public sources, as compared to a 62% public share in 2000.

Citations:
Ministry of Health (2016) ‘Sağlık İstatistikleri Yıllığı 2015,’ Ankara

World Health Organization (2017) ‘Turkey: WHO Statistical Profile’, Geneva.

Families

#41

To what extent do family support policies enable women to combine parenting with participation in the labor market?

10
 9

Family support policies effectively enable women to combine parenting with employment.
 8
 7
 6


Family support policies provide some support for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 5
 4
 3


Family support policies provide only few opportunities for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 2
 1

Family support policies force most women to opt for either parenting or employment.
Family Policy
4
In July 2016, there were 39.8 million women in Turkey. Furthermore, there were 10.4 million women in the labor force (women 15 years and older), including 8.9 million employed women and 1.5 million unemployed women. The labor force participation rate for women was 34.3%, the employment rate for women was 29.3% and the unemployment rate was 14.6%. The labor force participation rate of women in Turkey remains low, far below the EU average.

In July 2017, of women in the labor force, 53.4% were employed in the service sector, 31.5% in agriculture, 14% in industry and 1% in construction sector. Of working women, 47% were not registered with any social security institution, with significant sectoral and regional disparities.

Several national and local-level initiatives in recent years have ostensibly been aimed at helping women become more employable, helping them find more and higher-quality jobs, and in general helping to remove obstacles to their participation in the workforce. However, there have been many shortcomings in the implementation and proper monitoring of these policies.
In general, the government’s conservative stance on women and family affairs (e.g., concerning the number of children, or women’s roles) has provoked ongoing public debate on gender equality in the labor market and public life more generally.

Pensions

#31

To what extent does pension policy realize goals of poverty prevention, intergenerational equity and fiscal sustainability?

10
 9

Pension policy achieves the objectives fully.
 8
 7
 6


Pension policy achieves the objectives largely.
 5
 4
 3


Pension policy achieves the objectives partly.
 2
 1

Pension policy does not achieve the objectives at all.
Pension Policy
5
In 2001, Turkey’s pension system was reformed with the enactment of Law 4632. The law allowed insurance companies to offer individual retirement plans. This transformed the single-component pension system into a two-component system, with one compulsory component and one optional component. While the compulsory component consisted of a pay-as-you-go statutory public pension scheme, the voluntary component consisted of a voluntary funded individual pension scheme.

The World Bank (2016) noted that pension spending in Turkey, around 7% of GDP, is modest in comparison to high-income OECD countries. This low spending reflects Turkey’s relatively young population. Furthermore, due to the system’s high dependency ratio and generous eligibility rules, more than half the country’s pension spending is financed through budget transfers. A 2008 reform adjusted pension parameters, gradually increasing the retirement age and contribution period, and reducing the accrual rate. Though these adjustments will be phased in over several decades, too slowly to counter the effects of expanding coverage and a maturing population. For this reason, pension-system deficits are expected to remain around 3% of GDP until the middle of the century.

Law 6327 enacted in June 2012 aimed to encourage more working people to purchase complementary pension plans. The law stipulated that the state would match 25% of all contributions (premiums) paid by individuals to government-recognized pension schemes, starting in January 2013 (up to the annual pre-tax monthly minimum wage). The reform aimed at extending coverage and making the system more progressive, which should make investing in a pension scheme more attractive to workers.

Most recently, the government introduced Law 6740 to boost total savings in the economy. The law was enacted in August 2016 and took effect in January 2017. Under the law, all public and private sector employees under 45 years old will be automatically assigned to an individual pension plan. Employees will start making contributions to the plan at the minimum rate of 3% of their taxable earnings, unless they request to opt out within two months of their automatic enrollment. The government will match 25% of employees’ contributions to their private pension fund. In case the employee stays in the plan, another one-off state subsidy of TYR 1,000 will be provided.

Citations:
World Bank (2016) “World Bank Group – Turkey Partnership – Country Program Snapshot, Washington D.C.

Integration

#14

How effectively do policies support the integration of migrants into society?

10
 9

Cultural, education and social policies effectively support the integration of migrants into society.
 8
 7
 6


Cultural, education and social policies seek to integrate migrants into society, but have failed to do so effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Cultural, education and social policies do not focus on integrating migrants into society.
 2
 1

Cultural, education and social policies segregate migrant communities from the majority society.
Integration Policy
7
Turkey’s new Law on Foreigners and International Protection took effect in April 2014. On the same date, the General Directorate for Migration Management officially took on responsibility for implementing the law with a view to bringing Turkey in line with European Union and international standards.

Turkey is increasingly becoming a country of destination for regular migration. At the same time, it also remains a notable transit and destination country for irregular migration. The civil war in Syria which started in 2011 is placing a heavy burden on the Turkish economy. It is estimated that about 3.5 million Syrian refugees, 100,000 Iraqi refugees and more than 50,000 Afghan refugees are in Turkey. Key development needs for the refugees relate to education, housing and employment. Turkey hosts a large number of refugees in refugee camps equipped with schooling, health care and social services, while nearly 60% of refugees live in cities. In February 2017, the Minister of Interior Affairs stated that Turkey had spent over €22.5 billion since the beginning of the Syrian civil war on health care, education, nutrition, and social and other services for refugees.

In an effort to manage the influx of refugees into Europe, the European Union negotiated a deal with Turkey in November 2015. The European Union offered Turkey up to €3 billion in aid, and the prospect of easier travel visas and renewed EU accession talks in return for its support in stemming the flow of refugees to Europe. As part of European Union’s financial assistance to Turkey under the “Facility for Refugees in Turkey,” €1.2 billion was contracted to various U.N. agencies and international organizations – with the participation of Turkish civil society organizations – to support education, health care, socioeconomic and municipal infrastructure projects.

Citations:
EU Commission: Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council and the Council.
Seventh Report on the Progress made in the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement, COM(2017) 470 final, Brussels, 6.9.2017.
Murat Erdoğan, Syrische Flüchtlinge in der Türkei, Juni 2017, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_49510-1522-1-30.pdf?170710142819.

Safe Living

#40

How effectively does internal security policy protect citizens against security risks?

10
 9

Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks very effectively.
 8
 7
 6


Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks more or less effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Internal security policy does not effectively protect citizens against security risks.
 2
 1

Internal security policy exacerbates the security risks.
Safe Living Conditions
3
In a 2014 OECD survey, 62% of Turkish respondents stated that they felt safe walking alone at night, slightly lower than the OECD average of 69%. Furthermore, 76% of respondents to the TUIK 2016 Life Satisfaction Survey expressed satisfaction with Turkey’s security services. However, the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2016 ranked Turkey 98 out of 112 countries in terms of order and security as a factor of rule of law. The rule of law in Turkey has deteriorated in recent years due to the increasing threat of terrorism and extremism, the failed coup attempt and the government’s use of state of emergency powers. Crime is poorly controlled, and instances of terrorism and violence, including intimidation and muggings, are increasing.

Since the beginning of 2015, homicides – particularly murders of women (honor crimes) – have increased. Between January and November 2017 , 365 women were killed by a man (e.g., a husband or lover).

The General Directorate of Security was allocated €4.8 billion in 2016 of which 80% was spent on personnel. About €4.6 billion was spent on public order and security. There are approximately 319 police officers per 100,000 inhabitants. During the review period, 22,987 police officers were dismissed within the scope of FETO operations. The Turkish National Police (TNP) collaborates extensively with domestic partners and international organizations, such as INTERPOL, EUROPOL, SECI, AGIT, BM, CEPOL and FRONTEX. Moreover, the TNP has introduced an e-government infrastructure in many divisions and initiated several projects intended to bring operations into harmony with the EU acquis communautaire. Several projects were also initiated by the directorate, such as the Security Department Law Enforcement Services, Missing Person Alarm System, Media Monitoring System and Urban Security Management System. The failed coup attempt in July 2016 and the lack of sufficient personnel prevented several departments from achieving their performance indicators.

In 2010, the Under-Secretariat of Public Order and Safety was established to develop policies and strategies to combat terrorism, and to coordinate between relevant institutions and agencies. As of 2015, 97 personnel were employed by the under-secretariat. The under-secretariat has undertaken several national and international activities and surveys, and analyzed policy options for resolving the Kurdish issue. The number of special security service companies reached 1,405 in 2016 and 256,000 people were employed in this sector.

Many observers argue that Turkey needs a holistic, integrated and well-coordinated and centralized domestic security policy. This need, however, is challenged by the subsequent state of emergency and dismissal of thousands of staff in the security apparatus following the July 2016 failed coup attempt.

Citations:
OECD Better Life Index Edition 2015, http://stats.oecd.org/index.aspx?DataSetCode=BLI, (accessed 27 October2015)
Yaşam Memnuniyeti Araştırması, 2016, http://www.tuik.gov.tr/PreHaberBultenleri.do?id=24641 (accessed 1 November 2017).
World Justice Project, Rule of Law Index 2016, https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/RoLI_Final-Digital_0.pdf (accessed 1 November 2017)
T.C. İçişleri Bakanlığı Emniyet Genel Müdürlüğü 2016 Mali Yılı Faaliyet Raporu, https://www.egm.gov.tr/Documents/EGM2016FaaliyetRaporu.pdf (accessed 1 November 2017)
T.C. İçişleri Bakanlığı Kamu Düzeni ve Güvenliği Müsteşarlığı 2015 Yılı Performans Programı, http://www.kdgm.gov.tr/snetix/solutions/kdgm/resources/uploads/2015%20PERFORMANS%20PROGRAMI.pdf (accessed 1 November 2017)
Şiddetten Ölen Kadınlar İçin Dijital Sayaç, http://www.anitsayac.com/ (accessed 27 October 2015)
Bilal Akyüz, Türkiye’de İç Güvenlik Algısının Değiştirilmesi: İç Güvenlik Teşkilatı’na Yönelik Yeni Yapılanma Modeli, The Journal of Defense Sciences, May 2015, 14 (1): 65-87. http://www.kho.edu.tr/akademik/enstitu/savben_dergi/141/4.pdf (accessed 27 October 2015)
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/365-women-killed-in-turkey-in-first-11-months-of-2017-report-124209

Global Inequalities

#6

To what extent does the government demonstrate an active and coherent commitment to promoting equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries?

10
 9

The government actively and coherently engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. It frequently demonstrates initiative and responsibility, and acts as an agenda-setter.
 8
 7
 6


The government actively engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. However, some of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 5
 4
 3


The government shows limited engagement in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. Many of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 2
 1

The government does not contribute (and often undermines) efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries.
Global Social Policy
6
During the period under review, Turkey used development assistance to advance social inclusion and development beyond its borders. The government expanded its annual official development assistance (ODA) disbursements considerably from $967 million in 2010 to $6.2 billion in 2016. Turkey, thus, has become one of the leading countries in humanitarian assistance in the world.

Turkey’s development cooperation is provided in line with the Statutory Decree on the Organization and Duties of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA). TIKA designs and coordinates Turkey’s bilateral development cooperation activities and implements projects in collaboration with other ministries, NGOs and private sector partners. In 2015, Turkey provided the largest share of its bilateral development cooperation to Syria, Somalia, Kyrgyzstan, Albania and Afghanistan. The main sectors for Turkey’s bilateral development cooperation were humanitarian aid and refugee support, governance and civil society, education, health care and population.
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