Turkey - Global Education ...

Turkey - Global Education ...
Information gathering template prepared for
the Global Education Monitoring Report 2021
- Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus
and Central Asia - Inclusion and education: All
means all.

This profile has been commissioned by NEPC as an input for the 2021
regional report on inclusion and education in Central and Eastern Europe,
the Caucasus and Central Asia. This version is a working draft and will be
subject to further copy-editing. Its content has not been edited nor
verified by the GEM Report team. The views and opinions expressed in
this paper, including anecdotal evidence from interviews, are those of the
interviewees or researchers of this profile and should not be attributed to
the Global Education Monitoring Report, to UNESCO or to NEPC. The
information in this document was current in June 2020. The profile can be
cited with the following reference: “Profile commissioned by NEPC for the
Global Education Monitoring Report 2021 - Central and Eastern Europe,
the Caucasus and Central Asia - Inclusion and education: All means all”.
For further information, please contact gemreport@unesco.org.


Introduction                                                2
Survey reply and respondents                                4
Country system overview                                     6
Section 1: Laws and policies                               13
Section 2: Governance and finance                          28
Section 3: Data                                            32
Section 4: Curricula, learning materials and assessments   38
Section 5: Teachers and support personnel                  48
Section 6: Schools                                         54
Section 7: Communities, parents and students               59
The template for the Profiles was a survey designed to collect information from countries in order to collect
structured information to be used as the basis for the GEM Regional Report analysis work.

The survey respondents were specifically requested to not focus exclusively on children with disabilities, but include
information on all of the groups considered to be vulnerable to exclusion or at risk of being marginalised,
stereotyped or subject to discrimination, including for reasons such as gender, location, poverty, ethnicity, language,
beliefs and religion, migration or displacement status, sexual orientation or gender identity expression.

The overall goal for the Profile was that the information provided in relation to each country identifies:

              1. challenges (barriers and hinderances) and opportunities (support and ways forward) for the
                 implementation of inclusion in education policies;

              2. the ways in which countries monitor inclusion and exclusion in education (at individual and system

              3. challenges (barriers and hinderances) and opportunities (support and ways forward) for supporting
                 inclusion in education created by sectors other than education and arrangements needed to co-
                 ordinate work among government sectors, tiers of government and with other stakeholders to
                 overcome overlapping dimensions of exclusion;

              4. key policy solutions that are being implemented and key drivers of policy change.

The Profile begins with background information on the people completing the template.

The next section provides a short descriptive overview of the country’s system of inclusive education.

This is followed by main sections presenting quantitative and qualitative data linked to each of the seven themes for
the report:

              1.laws and policies;

              2.governance and finance;


              4.curricula, learning materials and assessment;

              5.teachers and support personnel;


              7.communities, parents and students.

Each section begins with a key guiding question (marked in italic text) that frames the overall information provided.
This is followed by the specific questions on the main issues for the topic that should be answered.
Sections 1 and 2 focus on information relating to legislation and policies.

Section 3 focuses upon available data and the aims and procedures for data collection.

Sections 4 to 7 focus on information relating to policies and policy implementation in practice.

The information provided focuses on compulsory education (i.e. potentially -pre-primary, primary and lower
secondary, and possibly upper secondary education). Only specific issues related to inclusion in early childhood
education and post-compulsory education were considered when necessary.
Survey reply and respondents

Has the information in this profile been discussed with and validated by a government representative?
          No / We have discussed with MoNE experts but the information is not validated.

Which other people have been key informants? What is their professional role?

 Expert                            Expertise                         Institution

 Prof. Dr. Hande Sart              Special Needs Education           Boğaziçi University

 Melisa Soran                      Inclusive Education, Special      Istanbul Bilgi University
                                   Needs Education

 Seda Akço                         Right to Education, Rights in     Humanist Buro
                                   Education, Law

 Ulaş Karan                        Right to Education, Rights in     Istanbul Bilgi University
                                   Education, Law

 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yelkin Diker     Curriculum and Instruction        Yeditepe University

 Prof. Dr. Bülbin Sucuoğlu         Special Needs Education, Early    Hacettepe University
                                   Childhood Education

What was the main challenge during the preparation of the profile?
Partial transparency and lack of national inclusive education framework were key challenges.

Please list the 5 most informative sources on inclusion in education (academic papers, policy reviews, evaluation
studies etc.) for the country published since 2015 and provide links to the originals:
1. ECRI Country Monitoring for Turkey
2. UNICEF Annual Reports
3. 11th Development Plan
4. A Situation Analysis of Inclusive Education in Secondary Schools in Turkey
5. The Right of Children with Disabilities to Education: Situation Analysis and Recommendations for Turkey
If internal, non-public or working documents were used, please add a note here.
Country system overview

(i) Provide a brief (maximum 1 page) narrative of the country’s compulsory educational system. Specifically, provide
information about:
a. the different types of schools, institutions and educational provision within the system and the age range / ISCED
levels of learners they cater for
In Turkey, compulsory education covers primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education. Primary education
is for learners aged 6 to 9. There are private and public primary schools. Private schools are under the General
Directorate of Private Education Institutions. Public schools are under the General Directorate of Basic Education and
special education schools are under the General Directorate of Special Education and Guidance Services. ISCED Level

Lower secondary schools cover the age range of 10 to 13 and also can be public or private. Private schools are under
the General Directorate of Private Education Institutions. Most public schools are under the General Directorate of
Basic Education. İmam and Preacher Schools are under the General Directorate of Religious Education and some under
the General Directorate of Special Education and Guidance Services. At the lower secondary level, there is an open
lower secondary school which is under the General Directorate of Lifelong Learning, however, this school is only
available to individuals above the compulsory lower secondary education age, with the exception of children with
certain disabilities and children who are convicts. The open lower secondary school is not an alternative to lower
secondary schools. It is aimed at individuals who were not able to complete lower secondary education and now are
above the age. ISCED Level 2

Upper secondary level covers ages 14 to 17. At this level, schools are under five different General Directorates:
General Directorate of Private Education Institutions, General Directorate of Secondary Education, General
Directorate of Religious Education, General Directorate of Vocational and Technical Education, General Directorate of
Special Education and Guidance Services. At the upper secondary level, compulsory education can also be completed
in Open Education High School which is under the General Directorate of Lifelong Learning. ISCED Level 3

b. the different authorities responsible for different types of provision etc.
The Ministry of National Education is responsible for the provision of education in Turkey. Different general
directorates are responsible for the operation of different levels and types of schools as stated above.

c. any major external support programmes provided in the past 5 years e.g. bilateral - GIZ (German Society for
International Cooperation) and USAID; or multi-lateral e.g. UNICEF, European Union, ADB (Asian Development Bank).
One of the major external support programmes provided in the past 5 years is “Promoting Integration of Syrian Kids
into the Turkish Education System” (PICTES), which is implemented as part of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey
(FRIT). The project’s first phase was carried out between 2016 and 2018. The second phase (PICTES II) that started in
2018, focuses on early childhood education and vocational training and will last 3 years. As part of PICTES, various
kinds of support are being provided to Syrian children, including Turkish and Arabic language education, back-up and
catch-up training and provision of educational material.

UNICEF provides education material, physical capacity (container classrooms), teacher training and programs to
facilitate adaptation to school with the purpose of decreasing absence and dropout rates. UNICEF also collaborates
with the MoNE to establish intervention programs for children in third grade who have not attained the necessary
proficiency level in reading and mathematics.

GIZ provided support to the MoNE with the “Supporting Syrian Refugees and Turkish Host Communities – Educational
Programme” which included strengthening capacities of educational institutions through teacher training.

IPA funds were/are also available for Turkey.

(ii) Are there specific features of the compulsory education system that impact on inclusion that should be kept in
mind when reading the country's response?
    Area                            Yes/No   Description of the feature
    Early tracking of learners      Yes      Address-Based Population Register System
    into a particular                        Science and Art Centers (BİLSEM), which offer unique
    educational pathway                      public education for gifted elementary and
                                             secondary-school aged children.
    ‘Double-shift’ patterns to      Yes      Not all students attend double-shift patterns. In
    the school day (i.e. learners            2018-19, the percentage of students attending
    attend for either a morning              double shift patterns was 37.8% for primary
    or afternoon session)                    education, 29.9% for lower secondary education and
                                             5.8% for higher secondary education.
    Grade retention                 Yes      Grade retention is possible at all levels. However, in
                                             primary education, grade retention is highly
                                             discouraged by the regulation yet can be possible
                                             once during primary education, with an official
                                             demand from the parent or due to absence. 1 In

(article 31, 1)
lower secondary education, grade retention is
                                          possible with the decision of a board of teachers, due
                                          to absence or academic performance. 2 In higher
                                          secondary education, grade retention is possible due
                                          to absence or academic performance. Mainstreamed
                                          children cannot be subject to grade retention due to
                                          academic performance at any level. 3
    Multiple languages of      No
    Policies on access to      N/A        Turkey has a centralised decision making and
    compulsory education in               education system.
    local schools
    Option of open education   Yes        In upper secondary education, students are
    in upper secondary                    transferred to open high school in cases where the
    education                             student falls into grade retention for a second time
                                          or if the student marries.
                                          In lower secondary education, if a child fails to
                                          complete lower secondary education by the age they
                                          should, they have the right to stay in lower
                                          secondary education for two more years. 4 If the child
                                          reaches 8th grade (last year of lower secondary
                                          school) at the end of those two years, they are given
                                          an extra year to complete 8th grade. 5 If they fail to
                                          complete during this time, they are transferred to
                                          open lower secondary education.

(article 31, 2b)
(article 31, 3)
(article 19, 1b)
(article 19, 1c)
(iii) In the country’s system which groups are considered to be vulnerable to exclusion from education? Who has
identified these groups as being vulnerable to exclusion?
Children with special needs – MoNE
Girls – MoNE
Children of seasonal mobile agricultural worker families – MoNE
Children in poverty – MoNE
Children who are forced to work – MoNE
Roma children – MoNE
Refugee children – MoNE
Children in foster care – MoNE
Children living in rural areas – MoNE
Children with illness & who are hospitalized - MoNE
LGBTİ+ individuals – NGOs
Children of internal forced migration – NGOs
Children whose mother tongue is not Turkish – NGOs
Children who are pushed to commit crime - NGOs

(iv) Please provide a brief narrative overview of the historical development of inclusion of vulnerable groups in
education in the country.
In 1921, a private deaf and blind School was founded in İzmir. Starting from 1950, the responsibility of the special
education services passed over to the Ministry of National Education from the Ministry of Health. The perception of
special needs became an education issue rather than a health issue. To train teachers, the first Special Education
Department in Gazi University in Ankara was founded in 1952. In 1955 the Research and Guidance Centre was founded
in Ankara, with a role to make research and to provide a necessary and individualized education for students with
special needs. Two special education classes were opened in a primary school in Ankara. In 1965, the Special Education
Department in Ankara University was founded, which launched a Special Education Teaching Certificate Program in
1978. The Ministry of National Education’s Department of Special Education, Guidance and Counselling services was
established in 1983. Special Education Departments were founded in Anadolu University (1983) and in Gazi University
(1986) to train teachers of the blind and intellectually disabled children.
‘The law about children needing to be protected’ was enacted in 1957 as the first regulation, stating that the Ministry
of National Education will implement programs for children with special education needs. Then in 1961, Primary
Instruction and Education Law enacted, which clearly stated that for students with mental, physical, psychological,
emotional and social disabilities special needs education must be available. Children with Special Education Needs
Law (1983) was very critical in several terms: 1. “inclusive education” was mentioned with a statement that children
with special needs education should be educated in regular schools with their normal peers, and 2. “special education
should start at an early age” was stated. Soon after the First Special Education Committee was gathered in 1991, an
individual education plan (IEP) for every disabled child was considered. In 1997, The Statutory Decree No.573 on
Special Education ratified. It clearly stated the mainstreaming of education within national legislation. “Person
showing significant difference from the levels expected from their peers in terms of personal characteristics and
educational proficiency due to a variety of reasons.” reflected as the person in need of special education. The
definition of the special education is as “the type of education provided by specially trained personnel and with
specially developed teaching programs and methods, in order to meet the needs of persons requiring special
education in environments suitable to their disabilities and characteristics.” With the Decree, mainstreaming the
education prioritized and the educational environments became places where individuals with special needs could
receive their right to education with others. Beginning at an early age, personalized education plans and involvement
of parents were also emphasized. Then in 2012, The Special Education Services Regulation which passed in 2006,
For refugees, Turkey’s humanitarian response has faced changes since the crisis in Syria first took off in 2011. The
number of enrolled students increased from 230,000 in 2014-15 to 610,278 in 2017-18, 643.058 in 2018-19 and
684,919 as of January 2020. However, the percentage of children who do not go to school still remains high at close
to 40 percent.
Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict started entering Turkey in April 2011. The first Temporary Refuge Center opened
by the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) in May 2011 in Hatay. Syrian refugees living in the cities
began to open their private schools for their children. In April 2013, Law on Foreigners and International Protection
was published and broadly defined the educational rights of foreigners who have residence permits. In September
2013 the MoNE declared the right to education for all Syrian children who are under temporary protection, in
September 2014 announced new arrangements through its circular and removed the requirement to have a residence
permit to enroll in schools for Syrian children. In 2014, all non-public schools that provide education for Syrian children
in and outside the camps were accredited as Temporary Education Centers (TECs) so that Syrian children could
continue their education in the period they spend in Turkey before going back to their own country. In October 2014,
provisions were made on the The Temporary Protection Regulation to make public schools open and official for all
Syrian students who are under temporary protection including early childhood education, K-12, higher education and
non-formal education programmes. To monitor the registration and the attendance of the refugee children, the MoNE
with the assistance of the United Nations Children Fund, developed “Foreign Students Information Operation System”,
referred as YÖBİS, in 2014. School attendance of Syrian children is collected through YÖBİS in TECs, and through e-
okul in public schools. In September of 2016, MoNE announced that all TECs would be closed down within four years.
As of 2019, most are closed, only 10.720 (%1,57) students are enrolled in TECs.
In 1997 an amendment to Law no. 4306 turned compulsory education into eight continuous years. In 2004 there was
a risk of achieving gender parity. However, MoNE launched the “Hey Girls, Let’s Go to School” campaign with support
from UNICEF in 2003. The campaign ran in 10 provinces where the gender gap was highest, and by 2006 scaled up to
81 provinces. For secondary education, two projects launched in 2011 and 2015 with financial support from the
European Commission to increase girls’ enrolment rate. It took until 2007-08 for girls’ net enrolment rates to match
those of boys’. A national administrative database (e-School) was launched in 2007-08. Several policy research
projects were implemented to monitor non-attendance, understand the impact of the 2008 economic crisis on
attendance, understand the determinants of transition to secondary education. An induction program for secondary
schools to facilitate students’ transition to and improve their success in 9th grade was initiated. In 2012, law no. 6287
stipulated that the education system be compulsory for 12 years, with a 4+4+4 system. The net enrolment rates for
girls in secondary education rose from 69.31% in 2012-13 to 82.38%, 83.39% and 83.88% during the 2016-17, 2017-
18 and 2018-19 school years, respectively. This new regulation resulted in a similar increase in the enrolment rates of
boys. As a result of all these efforts, national and regional improvements have been achieved and the gender gap has
narrowed considerably. However, there is still a discrepancy in enrolment rates between boys and girls at the
secondary education level, which requires measures to eliminate it. In certain regions (particularly in Southeast
Anatolia and Central East Anatolia), the discrepancy in net enrolment rates in secondary education are more
The Project for Increasing Enrolment Rates, Especially for Girls Project (KEP I) was implemented between
2011-2013 with the goals of increasing girls’ enrolment rates and the quality of education, as well as bringing
more investments in human resources through collaborations with the private sector. The pilot project was
implemented in 16 provinces. 2000 children were registered to school. Promoting Gender Equality in
Education Project (ETCEP I) was implemented during 2014-2016 in order to mainstream gender equity in
national educational policies and curricula. The project was implemented in 40 schools in 10 pilot provinces.
Education legislation and policies and textbooks were analyzed in terms of gender equity. The Project for
Increasing Enrolment Rates, Especially for Girls II (KEP II) was the continuation of KEP I and began in 2016
and implemented in 15 pilot cities. The Project for Expanding Gender-Sensitive-Approach Standards at
Schools project began in 2018 to contribute to the achievements of ETCEP, with the goal of “developing
standards for a gender sensitive approach and expanding this approach nationwide”. The project was
planned to span over two years, 2018 and 2019, and targeted 162 institutions in 81 provinces. However, this
project was terminated due to the controversies that emerged.
The ETCEP project had been completed in 2016 but it drew some criticism in the media, where opinions against gender
equity were expressed. Various media organizations published content that targeted ETCEP and other projects
promoting gender equity. A press release was made on MoNE’s website stating that there were no current projects
on gender equity. To this date, “gender equality” content of the strategies, programs were removed.
The social policy measures that address children in poverty are not enough. There is a şack of early childhood specific
social policies, thus the gap between poor children and not-poor children increases. Schools in poor neighbourhoods
left only to the resources that families can create for themselves. Conditional cash transfers that are targeted for the
very poor are helpful. However the amount is far from addressing the need for more comprehensive social policies.
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) was ratified by Turkey in 1990 and it came into effect in 1995. Turkey has
objections to articles 17, 29 and 30 of the convention, that are related to protecting minority cultural rights. Although,
the Lausanne Treaty grants rights to the non-Muslim minorities by protecting the right of these communities to have
their own schools and education in the mother tongue; there is no similar cultural rights to the Kurdish or other
Although Turkey has strong legislations and regulations for some vulnerable groups, the implementation remains
weak. Child poverty, child labour, and child marriage problems; gaps in accessing quality inclusive education,
protection from violence and abuse continues. These gaps are particularly critical for the most vulnerable groups,
including Roma children. The 2013-2017 national children’s rights strategy and action plan has not been renewed and
was not well monitored. Strategy for prevention of violence against children was not updated or renewed since 2018.
Systematic monitoring and research on these issues remain inadequate.
Section 1: Laws and policies
What is the framework of legislation, policy and guidelines for supporting the development of an inclusive education

1.1 Have international/UN conventions/declarations to protect the rights of groups who are potentially vulnerable to
discrimination and exclusion been integrated into national and/or regional law?
 Convention/declaration on                Law                       Comments
 Child rights (UNCRC)                     14 Sep 1990 - signed      Turkey has placed a
                                          04 Apr 1995 - ratified    reservation to the 17th,
                                                                    29th and 30th articles of
                                                                    the UNCRC.
 Disability (UNCRPD)                      30 Mar 2007 - signed      According to the 24th
                                          28 Sep 2009 - ratified    article of the Convention,
                                                                    states are obligated to take
                                                                    precautionary measures to
                                                                    ensure that children with
                                                                    disabilities have rights
                                                                    equal to other children, to
                                                                    acknowledge the right to
                                                                    education of those with
                                                                    disabilities, and to provide
                                                                    them full access to this
                                                                    right on all levels of the
                                                                    educational system
                                                                    without being subjected to
                                                                    any kind of discrimination.
 Gender         (Convention         on 20 Dec 1985 - accession      CEDAW is highly
 discrimination    against      women                               controversial in Turkey.
 Ethnicity    or     language     (UN No
 Declaration on Rights of persons
 belonging    to   National,    ethnic,
 religious and linguistic minorities)
 Other (e.g. Rights of indigenous No
International Convention on the      13 Oct 1972 - signed     There is a discrimination
Elimination of All Forms of Racial   16 Sep 2002 - ratified   towards particularly to
Discrimination (CERD) (ENG)                                   minorities in Turkey.
United Nations International         2000 - signed            Turkey has placed a
Covenant on Civil and Political      2003 - ratified          reservation on the 27th
Rights (ICCPR) (ENG)                                          article of the ICCPR, which
                                                              concerns minority groups.
                                                              This article is related to the
                                                              right of minority groups to
                                                              benefit from their own
                                                              cultures, believe in and
                                                              practice their own
                                                              religions, and use their own
European Convention of Human         04 Nov. 1950 - signed
Rights (ECHR) (ENG)                  18 May 1954 - ratified
United Nations International         2000 - signed            Although disability is not
Covenant on Economic, Social and     2003 - ratified          among the kinds of
Cultural Rights (ICESCR) (ENG)                                discrimination forbidden by
                                                              the convention, it is
                                                              explicitly mentioned in the
                                                              General Comment No. 5
                                                              published by the
                                                              Committee on Economic,
                                                              Social and Cultural Rights
                                                              (CESCR) – the body
                                                              responsible for monitoring
                                                              the implementation of the
                                                              Covenant – that forbidding
                                                              disability based
                                                              discrimination is indeed
                                                              part of the framework of
                                                              the Covenant. This General
                                                              Comment also emphasizes
                                                              the right of persons with
disabilities to receive an
education in an integrated
environment. In its General
Comment No. 13, the
CESCR notes that the
accessibility of education is
one of the fundamental
principles of the
Covenant’s 13th article, the
article regulating the right
to education. According to
the Committee, there
should be no de jure or de
facto discrimination in
education, and educational
services must be both
physically and economically
accessible in order to
achieve truly accessible
education. When states
party to the ICESCR
disregard the special needs
of children with disabilities,
this is defined as
discrimination by the
Committee. In line with the
CRC (Committee), the
CESCR also places emphasis
on the training of teachers
in a manner that equips
them to educate children
with disabilities within the
formal education system.
In General Comment No. 5,
where it states that
persons with disabilities
must receive education in
                                                               integrated environments,
                                                               special emphasis is also
                                                               given to the training of
                                                               teachers in a manner that
                                                               equips them to meet the
                                                               needs of children with
                                                               disabilities within regular
                                                               schools that are part of the
                                                               general education system,
                                                               as well as to the provision
                                                               of necessary equipment
                                                               and support mechanisms
                                                               for the education of
                                                               children with disabilities.
European Social Charter (ESC)       1989 - ratified European   The implementation of this
(ENG) and Revised European Social   Social Charter             Charter is monitored by the
Charter (RESC) (ENG)                2007 - ratified Revised    European Committee of
                                    European Social Charter    Social Rights (ECSR).
                                                               Although disability is not
                                                               among the kinds of
                                                               discrimination forbidden
                                                               under the ESC or the RESC,
                                                               the ECSR has declared that
                                                               disability is considered to
                                                               be within the scope of
                                                               nondiscrimination. The
                                                               ECSR emphasizes the right
                                                               to equal education within
                                                               general education schools
                                                               and repeats that states
                                                               party to the Charter must
                                                               take measures to ensure
                                                               this right. This Committee
                                                               also declares the right of
                                                               persons with disabilities to
receive equal education in
regular schools and places
responsibility on the states
party to the Charter to take
proper measures to ensure
this right. The ECSR also
monitors whether
signatory states are
transitioning from a special
education model to an
inclusive education model,
and requests the following
information from states:
• “Whether children’s
disabilities have been taken
into account in designing
the regular curriculum, and
if so, in what way this has
been done,
• Whether individual
education plans have been
prepared for students with
disabilities, and how this
has been done,
• Whether financial and
human resources –
including support
personnel and other
technical forms of support
– have been made directly
available to children in
order to ensure their
• Whether any adaptation
has been made in methods
for evaluating the results of
education, and what kind
                                                                    of adaptation this is,
                                                                    • Whether the diplomas
                                                                    and degrees received at
                                                                    the end of the educational
                                                                    period are the same as
                                                                    those received by other
                                                                    children, and whether
                                                                    these are officially

1.2 Provide an overview of general education legislation impacting on the inclusion of learners from vulnerable
 Name and link          Year    and     status Description of key content
                        (enacted,       under
                        preparation etc.)
 Constitution of the    1982, enacted           Article 42 of the Constitution of the Republic of
 Republic of Turkey                             Turkey provides for the right to education. It
                                                states that “[n]o one shall be deprived of the
                                                right of education” and that “[t]he scope of the
                                                right to education shall be defined and
                                                regulated by law.” It also declares, “[t]he
                                                freedom of education does not relieve the
                                                individual from loyalty to the Constitution.”
                                                Article 42 calls for education to be “based on
                                                contemporary scientific and educational
                                                principles, under the supervision and control of
                                                the State” and disallows the establishment of
                                                educational institutions that contravene these
                                                Primary education, compulsory for all citizens
                                                of both sexes, is to be free of charge in state
                                                schools. Private primary and secondary
                                                schools are to operate by principles regulated
by law in keeping with the standards of the
                                     state schools.
                                     “The state will provide scholarships and other
                                     means of assistance to enable students of
                                     merit lacking financial means to continue their
                                     education” and will adopt measures of
                                     rehabilitation for persons in need of special
                                     Article 42 states that only the Turkish language
                                     will be taught to Turkish citizens at institutions
                                     of education; the foreign languages to be
                                     taught in educational institutions and the rules
                                     for education in a foreign language will be
                                     determined by law, but the provisions of
                                     international treaties are reserved.
                                     Article 24, paragraph 4, of the Turkish
                                     Constitution states, “[r]eligious and moral
                                     education and instruction shall be conducted
                                     under state supervision and control.
                                     Instruction in religious culture and morals shall
                                     be one of the compulsory lessons in the
                                     curricula of primary and secondary schools.
                                     Other religious education and instruction shall
                                     be subject to the individual’s own desire, and
                                     in the case of minors, to the request of their
                                     legal representatives.”
Fundamental Law of   1973, enacted   Article 4 guarantees the right to access to
National Education                   educational institutions, regardless of people’s
                                     language, race, sex and religion, and states that
                                     no privi- lege shall be given to any person,
                                     family, class or category of people in
                                     education. Article 8 states that everyone, both
                                     women and men, is guaranteed equal
                                     opportunities and means in education, and
                                     those that are lacking financial means can
                                     receive scholarships, free hostels and other
assistance. Special measures are taken for
                                      children who need special education and
The Law No.5378 for   2005, enacted   The law states that the education of persons
Persons with                          with disabilities cannot be prevented on any
Disabilities                          grounds whatsoever. Individuals with disability
                                      may prefer of the option of life-long education,
                                      with their difference being taken into due
                                      consideration, on the basis of full equality, and
                                      without being subjected to any form of
                                      discrimination. According to the law, the state
                                      must make the necessary planning within the
                                      educational system so that persons with
                                      disabilities are able to receive all levels of
                                      and take measures for the inclusion of persons
                                      with disabilities who, for whatever reason, have
                                      made a late start into formal education
                                      programs. The law places responsibility on the
                                      of National Education (MoNE) for the provision
                                      of materials such as audiobooks, or other items
                                      that use the sign language system or Braille
                                      alphabet – which may be needed by persons
                                      with disabilities. According to the 13th article
                                      of the law, measures must be taken to ensure
                                      that persons with disabilities are able to
                                      choose a profession and receive education in
                                      their field. The same article states that
                                      vocational training programs are to be
                                      developed through the cooperation of the
                                      Ministry of Labor and Social Security and
                                      MoNE. The law also stipulates that public
                                      facilities must be rendered accessible to
                                      persons with disabilities; and, although it is not
explicitly mentioned in the relevant article, it is
                                                  presumed that school buildings.
 Turkish Civil Code (i.e. 2002, enacted           Parents are responsible for educating their
 Law No.4721)                                     children and for ensuring and protecting their
                                                  physical, mental, psychological and social
                                                  development. Parents of children with
                                                  disabilities must provide them “general and
                                                  vocational education in a manner
                                                  corresponding to their specific talents and
                                                  dispositions.” Parents of children with
                                                  disabilities are forbidden from preventing their
                                                  children from exercising their right to
 Primary Education                                The 52nd article of the Law No.222 on Primary
 and Education Law                                Education also requires that as part of
                                                  compulsory primary education, parents are to
                                                  ensure the continued attendance of their
                                                  children in educational facilities.
 Law on Private           2007, enacted           Article 2 on minority schools and special
 Education Institutions                           education schools

1.3 Provide an overview of education policy or guidelines impacting on inclusion of learners from vulnerable groups:
 Name and link            Year   and      status Description of key content
                          (enacted,       under
                          preparation etc.)
 Textbooks and            2012                    According to Article 5 (c), textbooks cannot
 Education Tools                                  contain discrimination based on gender, race,
 Regulation                                       religion, language, color, political thought,
                                                  philosophical belief, sect and similar features
                                                  and positions.
 The Pre-School and       2014                    Education support rooms may also be opened
 Primary Education                                in pre-primary and primary education
 Institutions                                     institutions in order to provide special
 Regulation                                       education support for mainstreamed students.
                                                  According to the regulation, “Those who have
been determined in reports by special
                                                  education evaluation boards to have high levels
                                                  of inability and thus be unable to receive full-
                                                  time mainstreaming education, as well as those
                                                  who have more than one type of impairment”
                                                  are to be registered in special education classes
                                                  that are to be opened if the physical conditions
                                                  of the institution in question are suitable.
                                                  Special education teachers must be employed
                                                  to work in these classes.

 Special Education        2018                    Rights of individuals with special educational
 Services Regulation                              needs

 Secondary Education      2013                    Article 157
 Access to Education      2014                    Article 1, students who are at risk of being
 by Transport                                     deprived of their education rights
 Regulation on the        2002                    Article 1
 education of migrant
 worker children
 Open High School         2012                    Right to education

1.4 Please describe any specific plans and strategies designed to support inclusion in education (e.g. national strategy
on migrant learners):
 Name and link            Year    and     status Description of the focus
                          (approved,      under
                          preparation etc.)
 Strategic Plan of        2019                     Five-year goals and strategies and actions to
 MoNE / 2019-2023                                  achieve these goals
Education Vision          2018                        The 2023 Education Vision serves as the
 2023                                                  roadmap for Turkey’s strategy to advance and
                                                       rise in the area of education and aims that
                                                       every single child will be able to transit from
                                                       education to career in line with his/her
                                                       interests, skills, and temperament and will have
                                                       the possibility to realize his/her potential
 Strategy (2016-2021)      2015, 2019                  Increasing the capacities of institutions in the
 and Action Plan                                       field of social protection, supporting the
 (2019-2021) for                                       functioning of mechanisms and ensuring
 Roma Citizens                                         coordination with the aim of facilitating the
                                                       integration of Roma / disadvantaged individuals
                                                       into society.
 Teacher Strategy          2017                        Yet, it is not in action
 Document 2017-2023
 Cooperation Protocol      2018                        Safety regulations
 between the Ministry
 of Family, Labor and
 Social Services, the
 Ministry of Interior,
 and the Ministry of
 National Education to
 Make Schools and Its
 Environment Safer

1.5 Is there a definition of inclusion in education?
⬜ No ⬜ No information available ⬜ Yes
Turkey’s national legislation includes a number of significant regulations regarding the rights of vulnerable groups. In
particular, the Law for Persons with Disabilities passed in 2005 constitutes an important step in ensuring this right.
However, in light of international human rights documents, the national legislation still has room to improve. It is
important that the current emphasis in the legislation on mainstreaming/integration be gradually transformed into a
framework for inclusion and inclusive education as defined in international documents. Currently, there is no
framework. However, UNICEF Turkey and MoNE implement 18 different inclusive education projects. Although the
list of these and their scope were not shared, several international definitions of “inclusive” education” are included
in the Inclusive Education for School Leaders Project module.
“Inclusive education is not only for children who need special education, but it is also for children living in rural areas,
with different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and girls (UNESCO, 2001).” In this sense, “inclusive education values
diversity and underlines that nobody is excluded from education due to gender, ethnic background, social class,
health, social participation and success, and thus everyone is embraced by the system (UNESCO, 2009; Ouane, 2008).”
“Inclusive education is an effort to make schools able to serve all students” within the framework of “every student is
equally important” (UNESCO, 2017; UNESCO, 1994).

1.6 Is there a definition of vulnerable groups?
⬜ No ⬜ No information available ⬜ Yes
Groups that require special policy or practice (disadvantaged groups): It refers to groups consisting of individuals such
as women, young people, long-term unemployed and disabled people who have more difficulties in education or
employment compared to other groups.
MoNE’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan

1.7 Is there a definition of special educational needs?
⬜ No ⬜ No information available ⬜ Yes
If yes, please provide the definition and give the official source:
Individuals who show a significant difference from their peers in terms of individual and developmental characteristics
and educational competencies.

1.8 Please provide information on any future developments planned for inclusion in education.
High quality and inclusive education is among the aims shared in the

Gaps across schools will begin to be closed
Schools will turn into living spaces for children
Vocational high schools will become preferable
Exam pressure will be reduced
Children will feature modern-age skills
The professional satisfaction of teachers and school administrators will be bolstered
Early childhood education will be expanded
Children with special needs will be given the educational opportunities they deserve

1.9 Please provide information on any reports, evaluations and/or reviews of legislation and/or policy relating to
inclusion in education, since 2015. This could include official and parallel reports on UNCRPD etc.
Turkey is up for the third cycle of Universal Periodic Review (UPR), a process that involves reviewing the human rights
records of all UN Member States. The documents submitted by Turkey and the stakeholders will be considered during
the 35th session, on 28 January 2020. The documents submitted for Turkey and the stakeholders contain relevant
developments in the field of education.

The National Report submitted by Turkey addresses updates and explanations on areas related to minority schools
(para. 71), mandatory religion classes (para. 77, 78), elective language classes offered under the “Living Languages
and Dialects” course (para. 122), revised content of education to promote inclusive education (para. 113) as well as
democratic culture and human rights in schools (para. 112, 114). Also related to promoting democratic culture, the
report points to trainings organized to raise awareness of the public personnel on human rights (para. 123), gender
equality and violence against women (para. 130). The report also points to projects to improve technology and
infrastructure, along with efforts to increase access to education in rural areas (para. 115), to provide financial support
to students who have difficulties in pursuing education (para. 118), to increase girls’ schooling rates (para. 116), and
to increase the efficiency of the lifelong learning system and to support disadvantaged women’s access to education
(para.132). Regarding inclusive education, the report states that “promoting the education of persons with disabilities
is among the key objectives of Turkey’s education policy” (para. 118). In line with this objective, “Regulation on MNE’s
Special Education Services” was issued in 2018. “In ‘SERÇEV Inclusive Vocational and Technical High School’, where
considerable planning and research were undertaken to develop the curriculum and teaching resources, 200 students
with cerebral palsy are integrated with 200 of their non-disabled peers through “crossharmonization” method.
SERÇEV High School was selected a “Major Award Winner” at the 2018 World Cerebral Palsy Day Awards” (para. 119).
Furthermore, Paragraph 120 of the National Report states that:

        “Project titled “Inclusive Education Program” is implemented by the MNE since 2015, within the scope of
        which braille devices capable of storing 300.000 books, including all textbooks, are distributed to schools
        around Turkey. Over 10.000 visually impaired students benefit from said devices each year. Another MNE
        project, “Inclusive Early Childhood Education for Children with Disabilities (2017-2020)”, which is
        implemented through a close partnership with UNICEF, aims at increasing the number of children with
        disabilities enrolled in early childhood education by using evidence-based data to increase the awareness of
        families, caregivers, decision makers and community leaders about inclusive education rights. The project
        equips teachers, administrators and other education personnel with the essential knowledge and skills to
        foster inclusive education environments” (para. 120).

Another component of the UPR is the stakeholders’ submissions. In the Summary of Stakeholders’ submissions on
Turkey it is stated that some stakeholders recommended Turkey to ratify various conventions including, but not
limited to the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, Council of Europe Framework Convention for
the Protection of National Minorities and other international instruments relating to minority rights, Protocol No. 12
to the European Convention on Human Rights (para. 3). Issues raised by the stakeholders in relation to right to
education included closing the gender gap in secondary education, prioritizing girl's education in the rural areas, and
reforming education materials and free school books with nondiscriminatory discourses in line with the CRC and
UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (para. 54). Another issue raised was the lack of access for
Kurds to education in their mother tongue (para. 12).

The third component of UPR is the Compilation of Turkey. In the compilation, there were some notable concerns
stated by various committees,
    ●   UNESCO encouraged ratification of the Convention against Discrimination in Education (para. 3).
    ●   “The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women remained concerned about the high
        dropout rate and underrepresentation among girls and women in vocational training and higher education,
        particularly in deprived rural areas and refugee communities. The same Committee noted with concern that
        in parts of the south-east of Turkey, it was reported that nearly 50 per cent of girls were illiterate and even
        more did not continue education after primary school, given that public education was not accessible in
        Kurdish” (para. 46).
    ●   “UNESCO encouraged revision of the regulatory framework to ensure at least one year of effectively free and
        compulsory pre-primary education, and encouraged increased availability of pre-primary education to ensure
        that all children, particularly refugees, could enrol” (para. 47).
    ●   “The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was concerned about the intersectional
        discrimination against and exclusion of Roma girls with disabilities, particularly from education” (para. 47).
    ●   “The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was concerned about the persistence of segregated
        education, which was discriminatory at all levels, and the absence of an inclusive education system. It
        recommended recognizing inclusive education in the legislation and adopting policies and strategies to
        implement it” (para. 59).
    ●   “The Committee [on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities] recommended that Turkey repeal discriminatory
        provisions against persons with disabilities and harmonize its anti-discrimination legislation with the
        Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” (para. 61).

1.10 What are the perceived main challenges (barriers and hindrances) and opportunities (support and ways forward)
for inclusion in education in relation to laws and policies in the country?
Although the legislation related to inclusive education is quite comprehensive, there is a considerable disconnect
between the legislation and application. Moreover, the existing legislation carries greater weight in
theoretical/principle aspects of inclusive education rather than the mechanisms to uphold inclusive education. The
lack of clear guidelines for inclusive education practices result in inconsistent educational approaches and practices
throughout the state. Additionally, the said lack of guidance carries the potential to leave stakeholders confused in
searching for legal or other type of remedies should a right violation occur.

The main challenge is the lack of overarching policy and framework on inclusive education. And the main opportunity
is that there is no opposition against disability rights and children’s rights.
Section 2: Governance and finance
How far are inclusive principles underpinning policies at national and local levels effectively supported by governance
and financing mechanisms?

2.1 Is there formal collaboration across ministries on inclusion in education?
⬜ No ⬜ No information available ⬜ Yes
If yes, in which areas does this take place and who is involved?
 Area                           Yes/No       Description: what mechanism, who is involved and
 Policy development,            Yes          Other than education of children which MoNE is
 implementation and                          responsible for, the policies concerning children are
 coordination                                also developed by the Ministry of Health and the
                                             Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services.
 Identification of needs /      Yes          The Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services is
 referral for services                       responsible for developing social policies that
                                             prevent children from being in need of protection
                                             and care.
 Data sharing                   Yes          The Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services
                                             and Ministry of Interior shares data.
 Monitoring and evaluation      Yes          The Intersectoral Child Council meets at least once a
                                             year to evaluate the country program, in agreement
                                             with UNICEF and the Presidency of Republic of
                                             Turkey Directorate of Strategy and Budget. The
                                             country program involves Conditional Cash Transfer
                                             Program and Conditional Education Assistance
                                             Program for Refugee Children. The council monitors
                                             general planning and implementation of the country
                                             cooperation program.
 Quality assurance and          Yes          While monitoring the country cooperation program,
 accountability                              the Intersectoral Child Council is responsible for
                                             ensuring that progress is regularly reported and
                                             evaluated, making necessary corrections, and
                                             addressing the support mechanism for the country
(others … )                     Yes            Ministry of Ministry of Family, Labour and Social
                                                Services with the support of European Union funds
                                                conditional cash transfer for education.
If no, please give further information:

2.2 Are there shared responsibilities between central and local governments on inclusion in education?
⬜ No ⬜ No information available ⬜ Yes
There is no local government in Turkey.

2.3 Are non-governmental organisations and/or associations involved in governance processes?
⬜ No ⬜ No information available ⬜ Yes
The involvement of the non-governmental organisations and/or associations in the governance process is limited.
They can participate only if the public institutions invite them or ask their opinion. Generally, these organizations
participate in workshops for policies on education of vulnerable groups organized by MoNE. Also, NGOs are invited to
steering committees of inclusive education projects funded by international organizations, such as UNICEF, EU
Delegation, and ECHO.

2.4 Are there any accountability mechanisms to promote the inclusion of learners from vulnerable groups?
⬜ No ⬜ No information available ⬜ Yes

 Area                                     Yes/No        Description of the focus/actors involved (e.g.
                                                        state/non state)
 Appeal process for rights violations     Yes           Since the subject of the lawsuit is children’s rights, the
                                                        Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services
                                                        intervened the lawsuit as taking the side of the
 School inspection                        Yes           MoNE is responsible for school inspections in Turkey.
                                                        However, it is hard to say that controlling inclusive
                                                        education practices in the school environment is the
                                                        main goal of these inspections.
 Other quality assurance processes        Yes           For the professional development of teachers on
 (e.g. standards for teaching,                          inclusive education practices, MoNE provides teacher
 support services etc)                                  training modules on inclusive education. These
                                                        modules can be considered as support services for
                                                        teachers in Turkey.
Monitoring and evaluation (e.g.         Yes         Teachers are responsible for class-level data
 data collection on attendance,                      collection, such as attendance. School-level data is
 participation, achievement,                         collected by school principles and is sent to the district
 funding)                                            national education directorates. District-level data is
                                                     collected in provincial national directorates and
                                                     provincial-level data is sent to MoNE.
 (others … )

2.5 Please describe the general mechanisms for funding schools. Give details on: which institutions provide funding;
what they provide; how they provide it and to whom, which mechanisms they use to allocate resources; and their
respective roles and responsibilities.
 Funding mechanisms             Description of who, what, to whom and how
 Central funding                MoNE sends the budget to schools. The budget is determined on the basis
                                of the number of students and previous year’s expenditure. In this funding
                                scheme, school administrations have limited authority on budget setting.
                                Changing the central funding framework is part of MoNE’s 2023 strategy.
                                MoNE planning to give more resources to disadvantaged schools. Also,
                                increasing flexibility of budget setting by giving more power to school
                                administrations is a part of 2023 strategy.
 Self-funding                   Since central funding is limited, school administrations look for additional
                                funds. Most schools create additional funds via school-parents
                                associations. In addition to donations, school-parents association can
                                generate funds by renting school’s parking lots, multipurpose halls and

2.6 Do schools have flexibility to use funding allocations to support the inclusion of learners from vulnerable groups?
⬜ No ⬜ No information available ⬜ Yes
The budget allocation is centralized in Turkey.

2.7 Please describe the specific mechanisms for funding the inclusion of vulnerable learners and their families in
education (e.g. benefits, cash transfers, scholarships). Give details on: which institutions provide funding; what they
provide; how they provide it and to whom, which mechanisms they use to allocate resources; and their respective
roles and responsibilities.
 Funding mechanisms             Description of the who, what, to whom and how
Scholarships                   MoNE gives scholarships to socioeconomically disadvantaged
                                students in primary and secondary education. Students whose
                                household income is below a certain amount can take the “Primary
                                and Secondary Educational Institutions Scholarship Exam”.
                                According to the number of available places for the year, the most
                                successful students can get the scholarship in the form of monetary
                                benefit or benefit from school housing. The information about
                                “Primary and Secondary Educational Institutions Scholarship Exam
                                2020” can be found at:
 Conditional Cash Transfer      UNICEF, MoNE, Ministry of Ministry of Family, Labour and Social
 for Education Program          Services and Turkish Red Crescent is the carry out of the program,
                                funded by ECHO. The program aims to improve the enrollment rate
                                of Syrian children and other refugee groups. Other than refugees,
                                socioeconomically disadvantaged students in Turkey also benefit
                                from other conditional cash transfers for education programs,
                                executed by the Ministry of Ministry of Family, Labour and Social
                                Services. The recipients of the cash benefit is determined by the
                                Integrated Social Assistance Information System. The information
                                about the program can be found at:

2.8 Please provide information (main conclusions, reference and a link if available) on any recent reports, evaluations
and/or reviews, since 2015 of funding and resourcing relating to inclusive education.
Conditional cash transfers in Turkey: A case to reflect on the AKP’s approach to gender and social policy by Meltem
Yılmaz Şener
This paper discusses “the gender aspect of social policy provision in Turkey during the Justice and Development Party”
(AKP) with a focus on conditional cash transfers. AKP implemented this a poverty alleviation programme.
Combating Social Inequalities in Turkey through Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT)? by Christian Bergmann, Mine
The article focuses on CCTs that aims to have helped to diminish social inequalities in Turkey by concentrating on
three crucial areas of interest: gender inequalities, transition to labour market as well as regional imbalances.
2.9 Overall, what are the perceived main challenges (barriers and hinderances) and opportunities (support and ways
forward) for inclusion in education in relation to governance and finance issues in the country?
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