Business in Turkey

Protection of Personal Data Relating to Health

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saglik verileri gizlilik

Regulation on Processing and Ensuring the Privacy of Personal Data Relating to Health (Official Journal 29863, dated 26 October 2016) has been amended by a new regulation that has been issued in Official Journal 30250, dated 24 November.2017. 

As is known provisions of “Law on The Protection of Personal Data, No. 6698” entered into force; and since then some Regulations regarding implementation of the Law are issued.

In this article we will provide you with the main points of  amended “Regulation on Processing and Ensuring the Privacy of Personal Data Relating to Health” that  arranges the procedures, duties and responsibilities of collecting, processing, recording, safeguarding and transferring of health related personal data by healthcare service providers.

Foreigners not Subject to Work Permit in Turkey

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Professionals of the following occupational groups, depending upon their period of stay in Turkey, are not subject to a work permit.

  • Foreigners arriving for the purpose of assembly, maintenance and repair of machinery and equipment and providing training on use of them , without exceeding three months
  • Foreigners arriving for fairs or circuses, without exceeding six months
  • Foreigners arriving for universities and public institutions and organizations, without exceeding two years
  • Those whose potential to contribute greatly to Turkey are notified by relevant authorities (six months)
  • Foreigners arriving within the scope of the European Union Education and Youth Programs
  • Representatives of tour operators entering Turkey (8 months)
  • Foreign seamen assigned to the vessels operating outside the coast trade line
  • Important Note: According to abolished Law no. 4817 "foreign football players and other sportsmen, sportswomen, and coaches" were outside the scope of work permit (they did not need work permit). But with the Law No. 6735 they are taken in the scope of Law, and they must obtain work permit for practicing their profession.

Social Security Agreements

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Every country has its own legislation as regard to international workforce; however provisions of social security agreements are applied instead of domestic legislation.


In general; without prejudice to provisions of international social security agreements, employees who are temporarily assigned to Turkey by and on behalf of a foreign-based company don’t need to be insured (registered on SSI) in Turkey, provided that they can prove that they are insured in their home country and the assignment doesn’t exceed 3 months.


Turkey has bilateral social security agreements with 25 countries. Provisions of these agreements will be applied instead of domestic legislation. Although the provisions regarding social security rights and obligations differ from country to country, the main points are as follows.

Work Visa Document Checklist for Turkey Consulates

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If you are a foreigner applying for work visa from abroad the steps and necessary documents are as follows.

•             Before the consulate visit fill in the “Visa Application form” in web-site (

When you go to relevant consulate of Turkey to apply for work visa, take the following documents with you:

•             Passport

•             Employment contract (Signed scanned copy would be enough)

•             Employer Invitation letter

•             One photo (biometric passport photo)

•             There will probably be no charge at this stage. (Depending on the consulate)

A Review of International Workforce in Turkey

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Turkey, on one hand, trying to attract qualified foreign professionals and investors to create an economy producing goods with high added value and increase the domestic savings, and on the other hand, struggling to cope up with the inflow of refugees in huge numbers from the troubled neighbors, has introduced new arrangements to regulate the international workforce movements inside the country.

Within last three years, provided you with every legislative step taken by the government, and every aspects of the implementation regarding foreign employment, including full translation of INTERNATIONAL WORKFORCE LAW No. 6735, and many other Regulations.

In this review, we will try to give you a whole view of arrangements and implementation on international workforce as a guideline.  At the end of each topic you will be provided with the related links of our website in which you can find detailed information on the topic in hand.

Government Support for Interns Extended

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Government support provided from Unemployment Fund for the employers of interns will continue during 2017-2018 school year.

As is known apprentices, candidate apprentices and students in vocational high schools, and students having vocational and technical training in the universities or higher education institutions who are deemed in the scope of compulsory Internship were paid 30% of net minimum wage (MLA excl.) and employer of these interns received government support for 2016-2017 school year.

In the last school term interns were paid monthly 381,23 TL  (30% of net minimum wage-excluded minimum living allowance)  regardless of the number of personnel. However, the support amounts were applied differently depending on the number of personnel in the workplace.

Statute of Limitation Decreases to Five Years on Severance Payment

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Period of limitation for annual leave wage, severance pay, notice pay, bad faith compensation and compensation for terminating employment contract against equal treatment principle will be 5 years, as per the “Law on Labor Courts No. 7036” issued in Official Gazette, numbered 30221, dated 25 October 2017.   

Statute of limitation (also called period of limitation or lapse of time) can be described as a time limit in which a claim/action/legal proceeding can be brought. Any claim cannot be actionable-cannot be brought before a court-if the statute of limitation has expired. 

Shortening of the statute of limitation from 10 years to 5 years in above mentioned claims arisen from labor relationship will help to prevent fraudulent claims, and also contribute the early reconciliation between employee and employer. 


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Employees and employers shall resort to arbitrator in the first place instead of litigation process for their labor disputes and conflicts, as per the “Law on Labor Courts No. 7036” issued in Official Gazette numbered 30221, dated 25 October 2017.

The also called “mandatory mediation” aims at lessening  the heavy burden of labor courts  by directing the parties to reach out-of- court settlements which are time saving and less costly in comparison with litigation.


The new law introduces the “arbitration as a cause of action,” a new concept in Turkish legislation, meaning that no lawsuit before resorting arbitrator.

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