Persons with Disabilities in Turkey: S. Firat at Sakarya University in Turkey states in his report, People With Disabilities in Turkey: An Overview, that persons with disabilities account for an estimated 12 percent of the Turkish population. Perhaps more worrying is the educational and employment gap faced by this segment of the population, S. Firat’s research revealed the following: “When the level of education of people with disabilities is examined, the illiteracy rate of orthopedically, seeing, hearing, speaking and mentally disabled people six years of age and over is 36 percent, this rate for people having chronic illnesses is 24 percent". Such statistics pertaining to literacy levels among persons with disabilities is in direct correlation with labor force participation rates. According to the same report, only one in five disabled persons participate in Turkey’s labor force.
Women’s Rights in Turkey: Despite the Turkish governments efforts to improve the legal rights for women in Turkey with its 1998 adoption of Law 4320 on the Protection of the Family, Human Rights Watch points to a major disconnect between policy and implementation. In their 2011 report, He Loves You, He Beats You, they state that in Turkey: “Law enforcement officers often prioritize preserving family unity, and push battered women to reconcile with abusers rather than pursuing criminal investigations or assisting women in getting protection orders.” Beyond the women in Turkey who are victims of abuse, women account for only 27 percent of the paid labor force, and nearly 4.7 million are illiterate. Within the Turkish government, women hold only 9 percent of seats in the national parliament, and only 27 of the country's nearly 3,000 mayors are women.
Youth Participation in Turkey: Nearly half of Turkey's population is under the age of 25. Despite the numbers and the need to increase the opportunities for youth to participate in the political, economic and social realm of Turkish society, the UNDP states in their 2008 report, Youth in Turkey, that: "high rates of youth unemployment - nearly 19% - and the low rates of youth participation in the labour force - under 35% - speak to the limited opportunities for youth in Turkey". According to the same report, educational opportunities are proving to be a reach for many youth in Turkey as well. Countrywide schooling-rates for secondary students is 56 percent and falls significantly lower in certain rural areas. Perhaps more worrying as Courtney Doggart points out in her research, Turkish Youth: Voices to be Heard, is that: "by examining motivations for involvement and non-involvement in organizations, and how that relates to students' concepts of responsibility for change in society, a picture emerges showing both strong student beliefs in access to information, self-betterment, and better education as necessary for a bright Turkish future, as well as a dangerous shirking of responsibility that could maintain the status quo".
Ethnic Tension in Turkey: According to the Konda Poll conducted in 2007, there are 11.4 million Kurds living in Turkey which represents about 16 percent of the population. Kurds living in Turkey have historically been unrepresented at the national political level and have had to endure many policies to 'turkify' them. It is estimated by Dominik Schaller and Jurgen Zimmerer in their 2008 research, "Late Ottoman genocides, the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire and Young Turkish population and extermination policies", that nearly 700,000 Kurds in Turkey were displaced during World War I and approximately 350,000 perished during this time. More recently, it is reported that 30,000 Kurds in Turkey have lost their lives due to the ongoing conflict since the 1980s.
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