Global Resources

The New Legal Status of Women in Turkey

Author: P. Ilkkaracan
Publisher: Women for Women's Rights - New Ways, Turkey
Publication Date: Jan 2002

Reforms passed by the Turkish Grand National Assembly in 2001 changed the legal status of women in the family and created a new Turkish Civil Code. In this booklet, Women for Women's Human Rights (WWHR) offers a comprehensive yet concise overview of the new legal status of women in Turkey. The booklet describes the key gains the new Civil Code has brought to women's lives. It aims to provide information on the laws and regulations shaping all spheres of women's lives in Turkey.

The booklet begins with the conditions for marriage in Turkey, de facto marriage including rights of children born out of wedlock, adultery, divorce, then moves to laws surrounding sex work and pornography. Issues covered range from domestic violence to women's political participation, and from abortion to a woman's rights to economic independence. This booklet is designed to serve as a useful resource and advocacy tool for activists, researchers, scholars, feminists and all those interested in issues of social justice and women's legal status throughout the world.

The authors argue that the reform of the Turkish Civil Code constitutes a major accomplishment towards establishing gender equality in Turkey, but warn that this step has to be followed by several other reforms and measures in the legal, social and political domains which aim at eliminating inequality between sexes. Although there has been an improvement in women's rights on paper on both national and international levels, this progress is not always reflected in women's lives at the local level.