Familialization of care arrangements in Turkey: questioning the social inclusion of ‘the invisible’

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Aybars A. İ., Beşpınar Akgüner F. U., Kalaycıoğlu H. S.

Research and Policy on Turkey, vol.3, no.2, pp.115-137, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


This paper examines the dynamics of care arrangements for children,

persons with disabilities (PWD), and the elderly, who constitute

the group of ‘the invisible’ in social policy in Turkey. The

invisibility of these three groups stems from their systematic,

consistent and diffuse exclusion from the social, political and

economic life of the country. The context of social inclusion policies

for these groups in Turkey presents a challenge to assess their

implications in three important respects: (I) the lack of data concerning

these groups, (II) the lack of policy tools and instruments

assessing the existing assistance and services for these groups, to

allow comparative evaluations, and (III) general orientation of care

services and policies towards families, therefore not targeting the

direct correspondents of these policies. This paper outlines existing

care policies for children, PWD and the elderly in Turkey, with a

view to assessing their implications for promoting social inclusion,

in two different aspects. While social inclusion literature is predominantly

focused on the implication of social policies for the carereceivers,

this paper examines the social inclusion implications of

care policies also for those who are traditionally assigned the role

of caregiver, namely, women. The latter dimension is a consequence

of the increasing familialization of care policies in Turkey,

which leads to the exclusion of women from economic and social

life, thus reproducing the invisibility of these three groups while

sustaining an overarching invisibility, that of women.