Business in Turkey

Fact Sheet 2017

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Datassist, Turkey’s leading payroll company introduces “Turkey Fact Sheet, A Guideline for Foreign Employers” prepared to provide “must to know facts” about labor law and legislation as well as basics of payroll.

As a foreign employee or an executive doing business in Turkey, it goes without saying that you have a lot of questions about legal procedures and their applications.
Datassist, decided to collect all these questions and their answers in a single concise booklet.

Can You Take a Time Off for Attending Your Sick Children?

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If you are a private sector employee the answer is unfortunately NO!

However, by mutual consent between employer and employee, taking time off from work without pay for various excuses, especially for sick children, is always possible in practice. Another way to attend or take the child for medical examination, you can use some part of your annual vacation that can be divided by mutual consent, provided that one of the parts shall not be less than ten days.

In Turkish Labor Law unpaid leave is granted only to mothers and adoptive parents after childbirth and adoption. There are no special arrangements for parents of sick children, unless the child is disabled as explained at last part of the article.

Minimum Living Allowance in Alimony Cases

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A divorced spouse who is paying alimony will benefit from the Minimum Living Allowance for children, regardless of whether the alimony receiving spouse is working or not.

In general, MLA is applied only to one of the spouses for children, however in case of divorcement, and paying or receiving alimony (spousal support) the question arises about which of the spouse will benefit from the tax deduction for children.

Lactation Rooms and Child Care Units for Working Mothers in Turkey

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Workplaces, depending on their number of personnel, may be under the obligation of providing lactation rooms and child-care units.

Turkish Labor Law and various regulations contain many provisions concerning working women and mothers. You will find the detailed information in the links at the end of the article; our today’s topic will be the nurseries provided for lactation and childcare. 

As per Article 74 of Labor Law No.4857 “Female employees shall be allowed a total of one and a half hour nursing leave in order to enable them to feed their children below the age of one. The employee shall decide herself at what times and in how many instalments she will use this leave. The length of the nursing leave shall be treated as part of the daily working time.”


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When the wage of employees is not paid in time for whatever reason by the employer, the conflict is usually settled by the courts. In this article we will take the subject as a case study, but first let’s have a look at the provisions of the related legislation.

What is non-payment of wages?

  • Wage may be paid on a monthly basis at the latest. However, pay period may be determined as weekly by employment contract or by collective agreement (Labor Law, Article 32).
    • Employers must determine a regular pay period and a regular pay day for employees.
  • The employee whose wage has not been paid within 20 days of the day it was due, except for force majeure, may refrain from fulfilling his obligation to work.
  • Even if refraining from work by employees based on their personal decisions takes on the character of a concerted action in quantifiable terms, it shall not qualify as a strike.
  • The highest interest rate charged to bank deposits shall be levied on wage debts not paid on the day they were due.
  • Employment contracts of such employees shall not be terminated solely because they have refrained from working for this reason; no replacements shall be hired, nor may such work be performed by others. 
    • Statutory limitation on wage claims is five years. (Labor Law, Article 34). 


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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.

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