Turkey's state-run Institution of Human Rights and Equality Agency (TİHEK) issued fines to a landlord and a real estate agent for not renting a home to a widowed woman. The landlord and real estate agent, located in the western city of Eskişehir, were fined TL 2,000 ($420) and TL 1,000, respectively, for discrimination.
The unidentified woman called a Prime Ministry hotline, claiming she faced discrimination based on her marital status. The case was referred to a court, which in turn ruled it non-criminal and sent the case to the agency. The real estate agent defended himself saying the landlord exclusively asked him not to lease it to single people, while the landlord confirmed he only rents his flat to married people "to preserve the family-friendly environment" in the apartment building.
TİHEK, which has the authority to issue fines in such cases, ruled that the landlord's decision violated a law barring discrimination. The fine will set a precedent for such cases. Landlords and real estate agents, particularly in conservative parts of Turkey, are often reluctant to lease their houses to singles, especially students and single parents; though Eskişehir promotes itself as a student-friendly city and is home to two universities.
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