Constitutional Reconciliation Commission’s “Equality” Draft

Source: Hülya Karabağlı, “Anayasa Komisyonu’nda AKP, CHP ve BDP ‘etnik kökende’ mutabakat sağladı,” (“AKP, CHP, and BDP reach agreement on ‘ethnicity’ in the Constitution Commission,”) T24, 12 August 2013,

The agreed upon clauses on the “Equality” and “Children’s Rights” articles are as follows:


Clause 3. (1) All are equal before the law

(2) No privileges can be granted to a person, family, community or class.

(3) No one can be subjected to discrimination based on language, race, color, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion, sect, ethnicity [Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) does not find the inclusion of “ethnicity” necessary] and other reasons.”

(4) Women and men have the same rights. Precautions taken to ensure this cannot be interpreted as a breach of the equality principle. The state is responsible to make sure this equality is manifested and to prevent all violence and bad treatment of women.

(5) The state takes precautions to lift obstructions and all discrimination in the path of women to use and benefit from their rights and freedoms in the political, social, and economic arenas.

(6) Special precautions and quotas are exercised to ensure the equal participation of women as men in positions of election such as the Turkish Grand National Assembly, in the headquarters and provincial organizations of political parties, in universities and syndicates and the executive branches of boards, in provincial headquarters, in provincial municipal assemblies and metropolitan municipal assemblies; and in administration and judicial institutions and professional positions.

(7) The precautions taken for the children, the elderly, the disabled, the widows and orphans of martyrs, and veterans cannot be interpreted as a breach of the equality principle. The state takes special precautions to ensure that equal opportunities are given to these groups.

(8) In their actions, the state’s branches and officials are required to ensure that all benefit from fundamental rights and freedoms and the equality principle before the law, and must prevent that no one is excluded from social life.

Preamble note: To ensure the equality of men and women in all fields, state institutions work with, first and foremost, women’s organizations and all related NGOs.

Note: Ban on discrimination regarding sexual orientation and gender identity will be stated in the preamble.

Children’s Rights

Article 6. (1) All children have the right to benefit from the necessary protection and care for his/her good, the right to improve his/her physical and moral state, the right to benefit from one’s own culture [Peace and Democacy Party (BDP) suggestion: and use his/her own language] [Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) opposes “the right to benefit from one’s own culture”], the right to freedom of expression, the protection from sexual abuse, violence and all bad treatment and abuse, the right to continue life within family, the right to personal and direct relations with his/her mother and father unless it is against his/her interest, the right to know his/her mother and father, the right to proper care in the case of departure from family; the right to benefit from shelter, basic health and social care. The state takes all precautions to ensure these rights can be used.

(2) In all situations regarding children, the child’s utmost benefit is considered.

(3) In decisions that concern the child, the child’s participation is ensured.

(4) Trial without arrest is the principle for children. In cases of detainment or conviction, the child is placed in an institution appropriate for his/her age separate from adults.

Preamble note: All people under 18 are considered children.

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