Turkey

   

Social Policies

#33
Key Findings
With the pressure of refugee care stressing social budgets, Turkey scores relatively poorly (rank 33) with regard to social policies. Its score on this measure has improved by 0.7 points relative to 2014.

The country has made significant progress in increasing access to education. Pre-primary education and higher-education enrollment rates are increasing rapidly. The gender-based enrollment gap has nearly disappeared at the primary level, and narrowed at the secondary level. Income inequality is very substantial, but poverty rates are falling.

Health care quality is steadily improving, with near-universal health-insurance coverage having been achieved by 2014, but cost pressures are growing. The employment rate among women is very low. The government’s conservative family-affairs stance has provoked ongoing debate on gender equality. The rising incidence of homicides against women is a serious concern.

Pension spending is modest, with more than half financed through budget transfers. The Syrian civil war has produced around 3.5 million refugees in Turkey, along with massive financial burdens. Though only about 20,000 work permits have been issued, an estimated 1.5 million Syrians are working informally. The refugee population has been the object of increasing public resentment.

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
In Turkey, children typically attend pre-primary education starting at age three, and the programs last between one and three years. Compulsory education begins at age five/six and ends at age 17. Turkey has made significant progress in increasing access to education. In the 2016 school year, although the pre-primary education enrolment rate was quite low at 30.3%, Turkey achieved almost universal primary-school enrollment. Secondary-school enrollment was 85.5% 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. Vocational education and training (VET) programs are available to students who leave the education system after primary school. The standard length of VET programs is four years, with most of the four years spent in workplaces. Finally, the percentage of the population aged 25 – 34 with a tertiary level qualification was 30.5% in 2016.

The gender-based enrollment gap has nearly disappeared for primary education and has narrowed significantly for secondary education. The Gender Gap Report 2017 emphasized 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 and higher education enrollment rates are increasing rapidly. However, Turkey ranked only 101 out of 144 countries for educational attainment.

Despite announcements on the issue, the government continued to refrain from strengthening universities’ autonomy, which had deteriorated after the failed coup attempt of 15 July 2016. The aftermath of the failed coup attempt had a severe impact on academic freedoms. During this period, according to the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, a large number of academics were dismissed through appended lists in emergency decrees, without any due process or 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 (2018) ‘Turkey’ in Education at a Glance 2018, 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
Turkey’s Gini coefficient increased from 38.6 in 2015 to 40 in 2017, indicating a greater inequality in income distribution. Income distribution in Turkey continues to be among the OECD’s most unequal. According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, while the top 10% of earners received 31.4% of income, the bottom 10% of earners received 2.4% of total income; the highest income quintile accounted for 47.2% of income in 2017.

According to the World Bank (2018), Turkey has experienced a large reduction in poverty and substantial increase in shared prosperity. Between 2002 and 2014, the poverty rate fell from 44% to 18.5% and extreme poverty fell even more rapidly, from 13% to 3.1%. Both moderate and extreme poverty have decreased in rural as well as urban areas due to the economic growth experienced over the period. Poverty is particularly prevalent among people with lower educational attainment, workers in the informal sector, unpaid family careers and homemakers, and the elderly. Poverty reduction has been driven by the availability of more and better-paid jobs, with social transfers playing a minor role.

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.

From 2014 onward, the refugee crisis caused by the civil war in Syria has created an extra burden on the government’s efforts to improve the quality of social inclusion.

Citations:
World Bank (2018) ‘Country Partnership Framework for the Republic of Turkey for the Period FY 18- FY21’, Report No. 11096-TR, Washington D.C.: The World Bank.

Health

#27

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 considerably. In particular, Turkey has achieved the largest gains in life expectancy since 1970 among the OECD countries. While life expectancy among males was 70.5 in 2002, it has increased to 75.3 in 2016. Similarly, while life expectancy among females was 74.7 in 2002, it has increased to 80.7 in 2016. The maternal mortality rate fell from 28.5 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2005 to 14.7 deaths in 2016. There has also been a sharp decline in infant mortality from 20.3 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2005 to 9.7 in 2016. As a result, Turkey has met its Millennium Development Goal target on both counts.

New legislation was recently introduced, restructuring the Ministry of Health and its subordinate units, while enhancing its role in health care 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 amounted to 4.6% during 2016. In 2016, 78% of this spending was funded by public sources, as compared to a 62% public share in 2000.

Citations:
Ministry of Health (2017) ‘Sağlık İstatistikleri Yıllığı 2016,’ Ankara



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



World Health Organization (2018) ‘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 2017, there were 40.3 million women in Turkey, with 30.2 million women aged 15 and over. While the female labor force consisted of 10.2 million women, only 8.7 million of these women were employed and 1.4 million women were unemployed. In 2017, the female labor force participation rate was 33.6%, the female employment rate was 28.9% and the female unemployment rate was 14.1%. The labor force participation rate of women in Turkey remains low, far below the EU average.

In 2018, while the female labor force amounted to 10.6 million, 9.2 million were employed. Of this total, 28% were employed in the agricultural sector, 15% in industry and 57% were employed in the service sector. Of these working women, 43.4% were not registered with any social security institution.

According to the World Bank (2018), Turkey has one of the lowest female labor force participation rates among countries with similar income levels. Women are under-represented in entrepreneurship, and business ownership and management. Furthermore, the gap in financial inclusion between men and women remains comparatively large.

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

Citations:
World Bank (2018) ‘Country Partnership Framework for the Republic of Turkey for the Period FY 18- FY21’, Report No. 11096-TR, Washington D.C.: The World Bank.

Pensions

#27

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, as emphasized by the European Commission (2017). 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. In June 2012, Law No. 6327 was enacted, stipulating that the state would match 25% of all annual contributions paid by individuals to funded pension schemes starting in January 2013. In August 2016, Law No. 6740 was enacted. Under the law, all publicly and privately employed wage and salary earners who are less than 45 years of age would be automatically assigned to an individual pension plan and start contributing at a minimum rate of 3% of their taxable earnings, unless they opt out within two months of their automatic enrolment in the plan. After the plan went into effect, 60% of 12 million workers included in the system opted out of the plan, urging the government to take further action. According to the “New Economic Program 2019 – 2021,” announced in September 2018, employees will be obliged to stay in the individual pension plan for three years before being able to opt out. Thus, for three years the pension plan will be compulsory.

Pension spending in Turkey is modest, amounting to 8.1% of GDP. 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. Currently the pension age is 60 years for men and 58 years for women, with at least 7,200 days of contributions. The pension age will gradually rise to 65 for men and to 65 for women, from 2036 to 2044. But these adjustments will be too slow to counter the effects of expanding coverage and an aging population. For this reason, pension-system deficits are expected to remain around 3% of GDP until the middle of the century.

Citations:
European Commission (2017) ‘New Legislation in Turkey requiring Automatic Enrolment in the Voluntary Funded Individual Pension Scheme’, ESPN Flash Report 2017/10.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (2017) ‘Pensions at a Glance 2017: Country Profiles - Turkey’, Paris: OECD



Integration

#13

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, and 368,000 asylum seekers and refugees of other nationalities (e.g., Iraqi, Afghani and Somali) are in Turkey. Key development needs for the refugees relate to education, housing and employment. Turkey hosts 6% of Syrian refugees in refugee camps equipped with education, health care and social services, while a large number of refugees live in cities. The number of refugees in refugee camps is about 220,000. Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, it is estimated that Turkey has spent over $30 billion on health care, education, nutrition, social and other services for refugees.

Syrian refugees are resented among large segments of the Turkish public. Syrian refugees are viewed as a burden, and blamed for the deteriorating quality of public service provision, price increases and rising unemployment. Although the Turkish government has emphasized cultural and religious affinities with Syrian refugees, the public perceives a surprisingly large cultural and social distance. Furthermore, in spite of legislation adopted in 2016 to facilitate access to the labor market, only 20,000 work permits have been issued to date. An estimated 1.5 million Syrians are working informally in Turkey.

The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, coordinates the efforts of U.N. agencies and partners to support Turkey’s refugee response, and avoid duplication and gaps in international assistance. UNHCR programs in Turkey are implemented through various public and private partnerships – including support for public institutions at the national and local levels, and private service providers – to ensure a coordinated, holistic approach to meeting the needs of asylum-seekers and refugees.

In an effort to manage the influx of refugees into Europe, the European Union negotiated a deal with Turkey in November 2015. For the period 2016 – 2017, the European Union offered Turkey up to €3 billion in aid, and – in return for Turkey’s support in stemming the flow of refugees to Europe – the European Union offered Turkey the prospect of easier travel visas and renewed EU accession talks. As part of European Union’s financial assistance to Turkey under the “Facility for Refugees in Turkey,” €1.9 billion was contracted to various U.N. agencies and international organizations in partnership with Turkish civil society organizations to support education, health care, socioeconomic and municipal infrastructure projects. Between 2018 and 2019, the European Union offered another €3 billion in aid, with €450 million of this amount has been committed to date.

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.


Erdoğan, Murat (2017) ‘Syrische Flüchtlinge in der Türkei’, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, http://www.kas.de/wf/doc/kas_49510-1522-1-30.pdf?170710142819.





Kirisci, K., J. Brandt and M. Erdoğan (2018) ‘Syrian Refugees in Turkey: Beyond the Numbers’, Brookings, Wshington, D.C.

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.
Internal Security Policy
4
In a 2017 OECD survey, 61% of Turkish respondents stated that they felt safe walking alone at night, slightly lower than the OECD average of 69%. Moreover, 74,4% of respondents to the TUIK 2017 Life Satisfaction Survey expressed satisfaction with Turkey’s security services. However, the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2017 ranked Turkey 101 out of 113 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 until its end in June 2018. Crime is poorly controlled, and instances of terrorism and violence, including intimidation and muggings, are increasing.

Although Turkey’s homicide rate is 1.7, lower than the OECD average of 3.6 since the beginning of 2015, homicides – particularly murders of women (honor crimes) – have increased. In 2017, 409 women were killed, 387 children were sexually abused and 332 women were subjected to sexual violence. The annual number of women who died from violence rose to 335 as of November 2018.

The General Directorate of Security was allocated €3.9 billion in 2017 of which 81% was spent on personnel. About 99% of budgetary allocation was spent on public order and security. There are approximately 331 police officers per 100,000 inhabitants. A total of 8,998 police officers were dismissed by a decree issued in July 2018 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.

The failed coup attempt in July 2016 and the lack of sufficient personnel prevented several departments from achieving their performance goals and required a reorganization. Human trafficking and ongoing reorganization in the security sector need a holistic, integrated and well-coordinated policy strategy.

The Under-Secretariat of Public Order and Safety was established in 2010, but closed by Decree No. 703 in July 2018. The new Department of Internal Security Strategies was established by a presidential decree in September 2018.

The EU sponsored €5.4 million, 24-month Development of Civilian Oversight of Internal Security Sector project was launched in 2018.

Citations:
OECD Better Life Index Edition 2017, http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/turkey/, (accessed 27 October 2018)
Yaşam Memnuniyeti Araştırması, 2017, http://www.tuik.gov.tr/PreHaberBultenleri.do?id=27590 (accessed 27 October 2018).
World Justice Project, Rule of Law Index 2017-2018, https://worldjusticeproject.org/sites/default/files/documents/WJP-ROLI-2018-June-Online-Edition_0.pdf (accessed 27 October 2018)
T.C. İçişleri Bakanlığı 2017 Faaliyet Raporu, http://www.strateji.gov.tr/kurumlar/strateji.gov.tr/OYA/2017%20Y%C4%B1l%C4%B1%20Faaliyet%20Raporu.pdf (accessed 27 October 2018)
T.C. İçişleri Bakanlığı Emniyet Genel Müdürlüğü 2017 Faaliyet Raporu, https://www.egm.gov.tr/Documents/EGM2017FaaliyetRaporu.pdf (accessed 27 October 2018)
Şiddetten Ölen Kadınlar İçin Dijital Sayaç, anitsayac.com/ (accessed 27 October 2018)
Kadın Cinayetlerini Durduracağız Platformu 2017 Veri Raporu, http://kadincinayetlerinidurduracagiz.net/veriler/2845/kadin-cinayetlerini-durduracagiz-platformu-2017-veri-raporu (accessed 27 October 2018)
İhraç edilen polislerin isim isim listesi | 701 nolu KHK 8 Temmuz 2018, http://www.karar.com/guncel-haberler/ihrac-edilen-polislerin-isim-isim-listesi-701-nolu-khk-8-temmuz-2018-906608# (accessed 27 October 2018)
İç Güvenlik Stratejileri Dairesi Başkanlığının görev ve yetkileri belirlendi, https://www.haberturk.com/ic-guvenlik-stratejileri-dairesi-baskanliginin-gorev-ve-yetkileri-belirlendi-2139811#(accessed 27 October 2018)

Global Inequalities

#5

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
7
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 $8.1 billion in 2017. 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). Established in 1992, TIKA designs and coordinates Turkey’s bilateral development cooperation activities and implements projects in collaboration with other ministries, NGOs and private-sector partners. Since its establishment, TIKA has implemented thousands of projects in more than 150 countries with 61 Program Coordination Offices in 59 countries.

Over the last decade, Turkey’s humanitarian assistance efforts have gained a remarkable impetus and been expanded to many regions across the world. In response to the ongoing Syrian crisis, Turkey has pursued an open-door policy for Syrians fleeing from violence in their country. Turkey provides temporary protection to more than 250,000 Syrians without discrimination. In addition, Turkey has also provided humanitarian aid after earthquake and flood disasters, humanitarian crises, and conflicts across many parts of the world (e.g., to the Rohingya minority in Myanmar). However, religious and ethnic minorities living in bordering countries continue to suffer (partly occasionally, party systematically) from discrimination and marginalization.
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