Business in Turkey

Annual Vacation of Seamen in Turkey

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Principles and periods related to paid annual leave of seamen are arranged in article 40 of Maritime Labor Law No.854.

Who are seamen?

Captain, officer, sailor and other persons who are working in the ships with an employment contract are considered seamen.

For application of Maritime Law the ships should be bearing Turkish flag and sailing on the seas, lakes and rivers and weighing 100 gross tons.

Entitlement to annual vacation:

Seamen who have worked under same employer or in the same ship, based on one or more employment contract, at least six months within a calendar year will be entitled to annual leave.

Calendar year means 1st January to 31st December of the year.

Period of annual vacation:

Leave periods cannot be less than;

  • 15 days for the seamen whose length of service between six months and one year,
  • One month for the seamen whose length of service is one year or over.

How to use:

  • Vacation should be taken at the date approved by the employer,
  • Annual vacation right cannot be waived,
  • And cannot be converted into wage unless in case of termination of employment contract.
  • Due but not yet used vacation periods must be paid to seamen as wage. Gross salary should be taken as a base.
  • Seamen may require to take unpaid leave for travel up to seven days,
  • Seamen cannot be forced to use their annual leave in a foreign port or in other than a place where employment contract concluded,

One month vacation can be divided into two by mutual consent, provided that both parts should be used within the same year.

How to Calculate the Unused Vacation Pay

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Hesap MakinesiIn principle annual leave right cannot be waived and cannot be converted into wage unless the employment contract is terminated. So payment for unused vacations is possible only in case of termination of the contract.

Upon the termination the unused annual leave remuneration must be paid to employee or the persons entitled on his behalf at the wage rate valid on the date of termination.

Due but not yet used annual leave days are multiplied by the daily gross wage valid in termination date.

What is the result of absenteeism in Turkish Labor Law?

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You can be dismissed without receiving severance pay due to unexcused absence from work for certain periods.  

Employees may miss some work days for various reasons that may be excused or unexcused. As absenteeism affects the productivity of a company, employer has the right to terminate the employment contract with just cause.

As per Labor Law 4857, Article 25/II, the employer may break the contract, whether for a definite or indefinite period, before its expiry or without having to comply with the prescribed notice periods

Annual Leave Periods of Press Employees

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Press members, unlike other workers who are in the scope of Law No. 4857, are subjected to Press Labor Law (Law on Sector Regulations between Press Employees and Employers) No. 5953, which includes different arrangements for the press member such as longer annual leave periods.

Unemployment Benefits for Foreigners in Turkey

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Foreign employees are already entitled to unemployment salary provided by İŞKUR (Turkish Employment Agency). Now with the new issued İŞKUR Circular 2017/1 foreigners who are satisfying some conditions will be benefiting from training programmes conducted by the Agency within the framework of active labor market policies.


Unemployment benefit, also called "Jobseekers Allowance" or "Dole," is an allowance granted to insured employees who lost their jobs against their will.  In Turkey, it is simply referred as “unemployment salary” and paid to eligible workers in the scope of mandatory unemployment insurance in line with the Law on Unemployment Insurance No. 4447.

Support for Employing Registered Unemployed of İŞKUR

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The third circular has been issued on the support for employing registered unemployed of İŞKUR  (Turkish Employment Agency) and the scope of the support is widened.

Circular 2017/10 (dated 1st March 2017)

As we informed you before, private sector employers are refunded daily 22,22 TRY of total SSI premiums to be paid for each personnel who are employed amongst the registered unemployed of İŞKUR until 31st December 2017, as per the Cabinet Decree/687, issued in Official Gazette No. 29974, dated 9th February 2011.

Also, for the above described employees, the withholding tax applied on minimum wage is set-off from the withholding tax return after the minimum living allowance is applied. Besides, stamp tax deducted from minimum wage are not declared and not paid.

National Employment Strategy of Turkey Issued

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istihdamraporuAs of 2023, unemployment rate will be reduced down to 5%, unregistered employment rate in non-agricultural sector will be under 15%, women’s employment participation rate will be increased to 41%, and child labor will be eliminated, according to government’s new “National Employment Strategy” published in the official gazette on 7th June 2017.

The target of the new strategy is;

  • Creating strong relations between education and labor market
  • Ensuring Flexicurity (flexibility and security) which strike a balance between flexibility and security in the labor market and help both workers and employers to seize the opportunities offered by globalization.
  • Increasing the employment of the groups that require special policy.
  • Strengthening the employment-social protection relation. 

All about Annual Vacation in Turkey

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Paid annual leave is arranged between Articles 53 and 62 of Labor Law, No. 4857, and relevant procedures and principles are set out by the Regulation on Paid Annual Leave.

Who Decides Who is Taking Vacation and When?

For workplaces employing more than 100 employees it is obligatory to constitute an “Annual Leave Committee,” comprised of representatives of employers and authorized for planning paid annual leave. Planning may be made by employers or employers’ representatives or persons authorized by them in other establishments.

Written requests for entitled paid annual leave should be submitted to the employer at least one month prior to the date at which employee wish to start his/her paid leave.

Employer is not bounded with the start and end dates of the leave demanded by employee, and may determine different dates by taking into account the continuity and regularity of operations in general, order of precedence as regard to seniority, or the special issues pertaining to employer's workplace. But that does not mean employee cannot take his/her paid annual leave in the relevant year.

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