Business in Turkey

Latest Attempt for Establishing Severance Fund in Turkey

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Arguments over severance payment system have a long background in Turkey; and it still constitutes the most controversial issue between labor and employer representatives.

Starting from 1975 a severance payment fund, intended to reconstruct the still prevailing system, occupied the agenda during the last 42 years.

When the Labor Law No. 4857 entered into force on 2003, its transitory article 6 stipulated that severance fund should be established to replace the current system, and article 14 of abrogated Law No. 1475, which arranges the severance payment stayed in force until now.

Prohibited Occupation for Foreigners in Turkey

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As a general rule, foreigners are obliged to get a work permit to work dependently or independently in Turkey.

However, some occupations and professions are prohibited to foreigners, and can only be performed by Turkish citizens. This ban is arranged in the special laws of the related professions.

According to article 6 of International Workforce Law No 6735; application made for occupations and professions confined exclusively to Turkish citizens in other laws shall be rejected.

Unpaid Leave in Turkish Law - Case Study

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Ücretsiz İzin

Unpaid leaves are not clearly defined and arranged in Turkish legislation.

An employee may sometimes be in need of taking a day or two off for various and quite understandable reasons, such as sickness of family members, and for other innumerable cases require employee to attend outside of workplace within the working hours. However, apart from some specific conditions, unpaid leave of an employee is left to understanding of the employer.

Another way to a take an unpaid leave is to deduct the unworked days from the annual leave period.

Turkish Labor Law 4857 contains two types of unpaid leave:

  • Upon their request, 6 months unpaid leave will be granted for the female employee after the expiration of statutory maternity leave and for the married couples who adopted a child under three years of age. (Labor Law, article 74).
  • employees are also allowed to take up to 4 (four) days unpaid leave, on condition that the employee provides documentary evidence that s/he is spending his/her annual leave at a place other than where the work place is located. (Labor Law, article 56).

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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