TURKEY. The Population Planning Law. Law No. 2827 of 24 May 1983. (T.C. Resmî Gazete, 27 May 1983, No. 18059, pp. 3-6).

This Law repeals Law No. 557 of 1 January 1965 on population planning (see IDHL, 1966, 17, 985) and the second paragraph of Sec. 472 of the Turkish Criminal Code.

Secs. 1-6 read as follows:


1. The purpose of this Law shall be to regulate the principles of population planning, pregnancy termination and sterilization procedures, cases where emergency interventions are permitted, and the acquisition, production, and procedures for approval of contraceptive drugs and devices.

Population planning

2. "Population planning" means the freedom of individuals to decide on the number and the timing of their children.

The State shall take the necessary measures for the provision of education on and services for population planning. Population planning shall be achieved by implementing measures for preventing pregnancy.

Pregnancy terminations and sterilizations shall be performed under State supervision and control.

Other than for the indications laid down in this Law, pregnancies shall not be terminated and sterilization and castration procedures shall not be employed.

Services for training and education in and implementation of population planning

3. In order to inform the public of the need for population planning, and to carry out services regarding training and education in, and implementation of, population planning, regulations shall be prepared by the Ministries of National Defence, National Education, and Social Security, under the coordination of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. These regulations shall be issued by the Council of Ministers.

The primary institution responsible for conducting the above-mentioned activities in regard to population planning shall be the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, which in this regard shall cooperate with the universities, the Turkish radio and Television Organization, social security organizations, all State organizations and institutions, professional organizations that qualify as State institutions, and voluntary organizations.

For this purpose, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare shall be authorized to establish a special organization to obtain, produce, or arrange for the production of contraceptive drugs and devices, and to take measures for the free distribution of these drugs and devices either through its own organization, or by other agencies, as well as for their sale at less than cost price to those persons in need thereof.

The production of contraceptive devices in Turkey, and their importation into the country, shall be subject to the authorization of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

Approval of the specifications of contraceptive drugs and devices shall be granted by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare upon receipt of written comments by a Commission which, in addition to other members, shall include members of medical school faculties. Any drug or device not approved by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare by the above-mentioned procedures may not be tested on human subjects by any organization, institution, or unit, including university medical schools.

[Ministry of Health and Social Welfare required to prepare and issue regulations on: the establishment and operation of the Commission referred to; pregnancy prevention methods; and the training of, and responsibility for the provision of services by, physicians, nurses, and midwives]

Physicians, nurses, and midwives shall administer contraceptives in accordance with the conditions laid down in the above-mentioned regulations, irrespective of any conditions laid down in special laws.

4. "Sterilization" means the operation undertaken to remove a man or woman's ability to have children without interfering with the satisfaction of their sexual needs.

Sterilization operations may be performed on adults on their request, on condition that there are no medical contraindications.

During surgery, and if a medical need for castration arises on therapeutic grounds, a castration operation may be performed without obtaining the patient's consent.

Termination of pregnancy

5. Provided there are no medical contraindications, the uterus may be evacuated until the end of the 10th week of pregnancy.

If the gestation period is longer than 10 weeks, the uterus may be evacuated only if the pregnancy represents, or will constitute, a danger to the mother's life, or if the child to be born or its offspring will be damaged, this being confirmed in writing, on the basis of objective findings, by a specialist in obstetrics and gunaecology and a specialist in a related field.

In a situation where failure to intervene immediately will result in danger either to life or to one of the vital organs, a physician making an assessment to this effect shall evacuate the uterus. However, in such cases, the physician who has terminated the pregnancy must inform the Directorate of Health and Welfare in provincial centres, and Government physicians in local towns, of the name and address of the woman, the intervention procedure, and the justification for the intervention; such information must be provided either prior to the intervention, or, if this is not possible, within 24 hours following the intervention.

Regulations to be prepared shall indicate the conditions that constitute emergency situations; the format and content of the notification form; the format for the consent forms to be used by persons requesting evacuation of the uterus or sterilization, and instructions on how to fill in these forms; the places where such operations can be performed; the conditions to be fulfilled by such places as regards health and other aspects; and matters regarding the inspection and supervision of such places.

Permission for pregnancy termination

6. The intervention referred to in Section 5 shall be contingent upon the permission of the pregnant woman; in the case of minors, it shall be contingent on permission by a parent; in the case of persons under legal guardianship, either because they are minors or because they are mentally incompetent, it shall be contingent on the consent of the minor and the legal guardian, as well as the permission of a justice of the peace. Permission to evacuate the uterus shall however not be required in the case of a pregnant woman unable to make a conscious decision on account of mental incompetence. Where a person whose consent is required under the provisions of the second paragraph of Section 4 or the first paragraph of Section 5, is married, the consent of the spouse shall be required in order to evacuate the uterus or for sterilization.

The requirement of obtaining permission from a parent or from a justice of the peace may be waived if there could be danger to life or to a vital organ unless urgent action is taken.

Sec. 7 (Activities contravening the Section regarding the production and advertising of, and publicity for, drugs and devices) indicates the penalties to which persons contravening Sec. 3 are liable. It is also prescribed that lawful advertising and publicity for contraceptive drugs and devices must be carried out in accordance with Sec. 13 of Law No. 1262 of 21 May 1928. The penalties to which persons contravening certain other provisions of Sec. 3, or Secs. 5 and 6 are liable, are laid down in Sec. 8 (Use of unauthorized [contraceptive] drugs and devices).

The heading of Secs. 9-12 reads "Amended legal provisions." Under Sec. 9, the title of Sec. 468 and the heading of Chapter 4 of Part 9 of Book II of the Turkish Criminal Code (Law NO. 765 of 1 March 1926) are amended to read "Crimes involving wilful and forced abortion." A revised version of Sec. 468 is likewise introduced. Sec. 10 amends the first paragraph of Sec. 469 of the Criminal Code, while Secs. 11 and 12 introduce revised versions of Secs. 470 (dealing with unlawful abortion) and 471 (dealing with unlawful sterilization).

Sec. 13 (Repealed laws and provisions) repeals, inter alia, the second paragraph of Sec. 472 of the Criminal code. This section also includes a "provisional Section," requiring the adoption of new regulations, etc., to enter into force within three months following the publication of this Law. Until then, those provisions of the regulations made in pursuance of Law No. 557 of 1 January 1965 and not in conflict with the present Law, are to remain in force. The instruments to be adopted are to comprise: regulations on the termination of pregnancy where this is required on medical grounds; regulations on sterilization; provisions on population planning; and provisions on the in-service training activities of the General Directorate of Population Planning.

Sec. 15 (Enforcement) prescribes that the Council of Ministers is to be responsible for the implementation of this Law.