Wages and Social Security Status of Interns in Turkey

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As summer is approaching hundred thousands of high school (lise) and university students will be employed in workplaces as interns in a couple of months, however status of interns and their wages, also the government supports provided for them are confusing and we would like to summarize the subject in a simplest way possible.

First of all, the determining factor is whether the internship is compulsory or optional.

  • Compulsory Internship

These are the ones having internship compulsorily within the determined periods as a requirement of their school or occupation. Employment processes and SSI transactions of such trainees will be conducted by their school at the start of the internship. They will be insured only in the scope of short term insurance branches.

  • Optional internship:

These are the ones who are not obliged to undergone internship by their school, but wish to learn their occupation and gain experience by means of working in companies. Their status is the same with regular employees, and they should be insured by the employer.

So we can simply classified interns as the ones who are insured by their school, or by the employer.


These are the students having compulsory internship within the scope of “Law No. 3308 on Apprenticeship and Occupational Training”. Apprentices, candidate apprentices and students in vocational high schools, and students having vocational and technical training in the universities or higher education institutions are deemed in this scope.

  • Employer must pay; at least 30% of monthly net minimum wage in the workplaces that have ten or more personnel. (For 2016-2017 school year: 1.270,75*30% = 381,20 TL)
  • There is no tax deduction for these wages.
  • The social insurance premiums of interns who are subject to compulsory internship will be paid by their schools.


These are the students having optional internship.

  • Their status is the same with regular employees, and they should be insured by the employer in the scope of long term insurance branches.
  • They have to be paid at least minimum wage.
  • Their wages subject to both income tax and stamp tax.


  • Foreigners applied to receive or already receiving vocational training with an employer are in the scope of work permit legislations.
  • Students arriving within the scope of the European Union Education and Youth Programs are exempt from work permit.
  • Foreigners who are specified as exempt from work permit in other laws and international bilateral and multilateral agreements and conventions to which Turkey is party may work or be employed without obtaining work permit.
  • The foreign students who wish to receive vocational training have to bring their internship file from their school, and not exceed the determined training period.


Workplaces that have ten or more personnel will be notified to Provincial Directorate of National Education, and the universities and higher education institutions in the province by the Provincial Directorates of Labor and Employment Agency every year.

  • In case the student’s insurance covered by the school interns should paid by the employer as stated above (minimum 381,23 TL) regardless of the list issued by YÖK (Council of Higher Education).
  • Workplaces that have ten or more personnel should establish a training unit includes personnel who had work pedagogy education.
  • In the obligation of employing interns, number of personnel employed in January of current year will be taken as a base.


Valid for end of the 2016-2017 school year, government will cover some part of the wages paid to apprentices and intern students.

  • 2/3 of the wage (minimum payable) in the workplaces that have twenty or more personnel. ( 1270,75 * % 30 *2/3 ) = 254,15
  • 1/3 of the wage (minimum payable) in the workplaces that have less than twenty personnel. ( 1270,75 * % 30 *1/3 ) = 127,07 will be covered by Unemployment Fund.


It should be bear in mind that period of internship is determined by the schools. In case of exceeding this time limit internship status turn out to be regular employment. 

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