European Union non-discrimination principle: rereading statutory social security schemes in Turkey

Günder, Zeyne
The main purpose of this thesis is to assess the alignment of statutory social security regulations applied in Turkey to the European Union non-discrimination principle. In the European Union Law, prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of nationality and gender equality has a deep-rooted history. Other areas in which prohibition of discrimination is applied in the European Union Law (sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation), have been added later though the Treaty of Amsterdam. The discussion in the thesis is organized as follows: firstly, primary provisions intended for the prohibition of discrimination as laid down in the European Union Founding Treaties are presented with amendments introduced since the establishment of the Union and the legal process towards non-discrimination is reviewed within the historical perspective. Then, the focus moves to secondary legislations regarding the non-discrimination principle by considering the decrees of the European Court of Justice within the framework of statutory social security schemes. Statutory social security schemes in Turkey currently run by the Social Insurances and General Health Insurance Act No. 5510 and the Unemployment Insurance Act No. 4447 are described in detail. Next, differences between the European Union and the Turkish practices on the grounds of nationality, gender, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age, or sexual orientation are studied. Finally, the thesis offers to suggest steps to amend the statutory social security legislations in Turkey to render them compatible with European Union non-discrimination principle.