Business in Turkey


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Employee who terminated the employment contract for reason of being obliged to excessive over-time work (exceeding 270 hours a year) will be entitled to severance pay, according to Supreme Court ruling.

As a result of this, employee who is forced to work over 270 hours a year, and/or against his consent will have the right to terminate his employment contract with just cause.


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An employee whose fixed-term employment contract is terminated by the employer may be entitled to severance pay depending on the conditions, according to Supreme Court ruling. However, there will not be notice payment for termination of such contracts. 


Employment Contracts

  • Although there are several types of employment contracts owing to the nature of work, regular staff of a company is usually employed under an (open-ended) employment contract for an indefinite period which has a start day but no specified duration or an end date.
  • Fixed term employment contract is concluded for a definite (fixed-term) period with an end date. It should be based on the emergence of objective conditions like the completion of a certain work or the materialization of a certain event. There is a legal requirement for contracts to be in writing if they are signed for a fixed time of one year or more.
  • An employment contract for a definite period must not be concluded more than once, except when there is an essential reason which may necessitate repeated (chain) contracts. Otherwise, the employment contract will be considered as an open open-ended contract from the very beginning.

Social Security Status of Foreigners and Company Partners

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Turkey, in an effort to improve the economic integration to global economy has undergone many changes in its legislation during the last decades.  The modifications covers the many aspects of inflow and outflow of  international labor force such as work permits, posting abroad, legal position and social security obligations of foreigners which is the most confusing issue we would like to discuss briefly.

Social security obligation of foreigners working or dealing with business in Turkey depends on, in general, whether they are;

  • working under an employment contract or self-employed,
  • residing abroad or in Turkey,
  • posted to Turkey for a certain or an undefined period of time,
  • the citizens of the countries Turkey has bilateral social security agreement with or not.

General Rules

  • Foreigners who are not in the scope of SSI

According to Law No 5510, Article 6/e foreigners who;

ü  are sent to Turkey for a job by or on behalf of an organization established in a foreign country and who document to be subject to social insurance in the foreign country,

ü   work in Turkey on his/her own name and account and reside abroad, and are subject to the social security legislation of that country, are not deemed to be insurance holders.

New Circular on Incentive Bans

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We have informed you that one year incentive-deprivation period of employers, who are found not notified the employed personnel as insured, or the notified insured is not working virtually (insured falsely), is shortened to one month according to additional article14 of Law No. 5510 which is added by article 17 of Law No. 6824 issued in Official Gazette numbered 30001, dated 8th March 2017.

As there are so many incentives, supports and deductions in Turkey’s application, questions aroused about which of them are in the scope of the new arrangement. Now with the SSI Circular No.2017/18 issued on 11 April 2017 the matter is clarified.


Employers/Workplaces liable to incentive ban

  • Employers who are detected to be employing unregistered personnel (not notified the employed as insured), or in case the personnel is falsely notified as insured (not working virtually)
  • In case the number of unregistered or falsely registered personnel is exceeding 1% of total registered personnel in the workplace, (and more than five if it doesn’t exceed 1%)
  • Employers cannot benefit from the below stated incentives for one month in the first detection, and in case the employers continue to employ unregistered personnel within the following 3 years they will be devoid of premium incentives for a period of one year each time they are detected to be doing so.

Proving the Right to Annual Leave – Supreme Court Decision

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Burden of proof as regard to use of annual leave rests on the employer according to Supreme Court decision. The ruling depends on the provision that stipulates “employer must keep a roster showing the paid annual leaves of the employees working in the establishment”.


Labor Law places special emphasis on paid annual leave of employees and contains many detailed articles concerning the subject. Some of them are as follows:

  • Employees, who have completed a minimum of one year of service in the establishment since their recruitment, including the trial period, shall be allowed to take annual leave.
  •  An employee neither can waive his right of vacation nor can s/he engage in gainful employment during this period.
  • Leave periods may be divided by mutual consent, provided that one of the parts shall not be less than ten day.
  • National holidays, weekly rest days and public holidays that coincide with the duration of paid annual leave may not be included in the annual leave period.
  • Employees’ paid leave entitlements and the leaves taken should be recorded in a "vacation book" and the documents in respect to leaves must be signed with both employee and employer. Documents related to annual paid leave should be kept in employees' personal files.
  • Any annual leave remuneration due to, but not yet claimed by employee must be paid to them, or persons entitled on their behalf, upon the termination of an employment contract for any reason, at the wage rate prevailing on the date of termination.

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.

New Era in General Health Insurance Application - Premiums Lowered to 53,32 TL

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As of 1st April 2017 a single premium amount, monthly 53,32 TL, will be applied for all the persons subject to General Health Insurance (GSS) and the unpaid debts will be collected by taking the said amount as a base, according to Law on Restructuring Some Receivables No 6824,  issued in Official Gazette Numbered 30001, dated 8th March 2017 and is in force as of 1 April.

Exemption for Syrian Medical Personnel

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Principles and procedures for foreign professionals of healthcare services working in private health institutions are arranged by a regulation issued in Official Gazette Numbered 28212, dated 22 February 2012; and also provisions of International Workforce Law No. 6735 are applicable.

Work Permit  Obligation

In the work permit applications, foreigners seeking to work in healthcare services must obtain preliminary permission from the Ministry of Health. (Law No.6735, Article 8)

Requirements of Work

Foreign medical personnel may work in private health institutions by satisfying the following conditions;

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