Human Rights Issues to take i̇nto Consideration while doing Business in Turkey


published on 15 September 2022 | reading time approx. 2 minutes

Export of mechanical products is one of the largest industries in Turkey. 60 percent of the products is exported to EU countries including Germany, England, France, Italy, and the USA. Particularly, the machinery sector adds value to Turkey's economy by encoring the use of high technology, creating a large scale of subindustry and supply chains.

Many of the players of this industry are foreign-invested companies and they play a different role among the entire supply chain. This sector including various lines of products and services creates a dynamic and speedily growing economy. But at the same time, the risks towards the labor rights emerge. Although freedom of labor unions and workers’ rights are granted by the law, we can still come across unfair labor practices from time to time.


Working conditions regarding the health and safety issues mostly don’t meet the standards set forth by the law. With the attitude that promotes the underpaid workforce in order to attract investors, it becomes even more difficult to ensure the balance between workload and payment of employees. Moreover, while female emplo­yees enjoy the same rights as male employees before the law, societal and official discrimination can still be observed.

Please note that the type and density of the violation vary at different stages of the supply chain. Sometimes it is hard to detect the human rights violation that occurred in a top-ranked supplier. For example, in such com­pa­nies, when the volume of the labor rights violation is high and appears frequently, but the substance of the violation is not severe, the violation is perceived as not that much unlawful.


It is important to know your suppliers not only by the daily business but also by considering how they commu­nicate the values they have. It is also important to gain an insight into the business habitat and regular prac­tices by visiting the fields where the suppliers operate. This can help to understand the deep-rooted attitudes and practices that may be a hardship to carry out the due diligence responsibilities.

In this regard, it is recommended to discuss labor union freedom with the suppliers, create a complaint mechanism, ask suppliers to submit the documents proving that the measures against the health and safety risks are taken or equal pay for male and female employees is guaranteed. Providing a living wage for all employees is also important, as a living wage is a universal human right and is included in the UN Human Rights Declaration.


Air pollution, soil and water contamination, biodiversity, and deforestation are the major environmental issues. Industrial pollution influences the flora and fauna of Turkey negatively.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Turkey suffers from excessive air pollution. Toxic gases generated along the industrial production phases are severely threatening human health. The water sources are becoming polluted by industrialization. Private companies and public authorities fail to comply with the international treaties regarding the protection of the environment.

Therefore, it is crucial to raise awareness among employees and suppliers of their water consumption and usage. Effective collaboration among the customer and suppliers can help comply with the legal requirements.

Deutschland Weltweit Search Menu