Legal News

How to Intern in Turkey?

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As the rapid globalization has removed borders between countries, when it comes to working and living in foreign countries. We quite often see young people from different parts of the world going abroad to get a better education, to learn a language, and to have internship experience in a different work culture. This trend has created a growing sector with a few dozen organizations running student exchange programs worldwide. How does it work to be an intern in a foreign country? What papers do they need to work legally? Are they eligible to get paid? How can one be an intern in Turkey?


All matters related to foreign students’ entry, stay and studies in Turkey are determined by the 5682 Passports Act, 5683 Foreigners in Turkey Residence and Travels About Law and 5978 numbered Abroad Turks and Related Communities Presidency of the Organization and Duties. 

According to the act, foreign students are required to have an invitation letter from the education institution they’re enrolled in and obtain student visas from the Turkish foreign missions in order to study in Turkey. A month from the date of entry, the student is required to obtain a residence permit for studying. For the residence permit, it is necessary to apply to the Police Department of Foreigners, with the residence information form and other documents obtained from the education institution.


Internship of Foreign Students

Foreign students can work as interns in Turkey as principles and procedures are clearly stated in the 4817 Law on Foreigners Working Permit.

According to Article 55 of the Implementing Regulation of the Law on Work Permits for Foreigners, foreign trainees are exempted from obtaining a work permit, provided that they only work within the duration of the internship. For the trainees to be exempt from obtaining a work permit, they need to be enrolled in compulsory internships within the framework of student exchange programs and they should be insured by the school. Other than the compulsory internships, students who would like to pursue internships in order to improve their professional skills, need to apply for a work permit. In this case, their legal status is no different than full-time foreign employees.


Documents Required for Application

  • Petition
  • Residence Declaration Form
  • 4 photos
  • Original of passport
  • Internship Purpose Visa From Our Foreign Representatives (Consulate)
  • Document indicating the duration of the internship from the institution
  • Fees of Foreign Trainees
  • The monthly salary of foreign interns is same as their Turkish counterparts. It is equivalent to 30% of the gross minimum wage (TL 2.943).


Minimum Wage for 2020 Announced

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The Minimum Wage Commission has announced the gross minimum wage for 2020 as 2.943 TL, with an increase of 15.03%.

The net minimum wage will be 2.324,70 TL, together with the AGI (MLA - Minimum Living Allowance) for single employees or employees with working spouses.

You can find the 2020 “calculation of minimum wage” and “cost of employer” in the tables below.

Payroll parameters to be implemented in the first half of 2020 are as follows.


Daily Minimum Gross Salary 98,10
Monthly Minimum Gross Salary 2.943,00
Monthly Net Minimum Wage - MLA Included 2.324,70
Monthly Net Minimum Wage - without MLA 2.103,97
Daily SSI Premium Earnings Base / Minimum Limit 98,10
Daily SSI Premium Earnings Base / Maximum Limit 735,75
Monthly SSI Premium Earnings Base / Minimum Limit 2.943,00
Monthly SSI Premium Earnings Base / Maximum Limit 22.072,50
Child Allowance Exception / SSI (2% of min. wage) 58,86
Child Allowance Exception/Income Tax (Over 6)  
Child Allowance Exception/Income Tax (Ages 0-6)  
Family Allowance Exception / SSI (10% of min. wage) 294,30
Daily Meal Allowance Exception / SSI (Cash) 5,89
Daıly Meal Allowance Exception/Income Tax (Meal Card) 23,00
Private Pension+ Private Health Insurance Premium Exception/ Premium earning base 882,90
Taxable Income Bracket /% 15 0 – 22.000
Taxable Income Bracket /% 20 22.001 – 49.000
Taxable Income Bracket /% 27 49.001 – 180.000
Taxable Income Bracket /% 35 180.001-600.000
Taxable Income Bracket /% 40 Over  600.001
1st  Grade Disability Income Tax Reductıon 1.400
2nd Grade Disability Income Tax Reductıon 790
3rd  Grade Disability Income Tax Reductıon 350
Severance Payment Limit (Try/Year) 6.730,15
Stamp Tax Rate 0,00759


MLA (Minimum Living Allowance)

Marital Status Monthly MLA Amounts
Single/Spouse working + 0 kid ₺220,73
Single/Spouse working + 1 kid ₺253,83
Single/Spouse working + 2 kids ₺286,94
Single/Spouse working + 3 kids ₺331,09
Single/Spouse working + 4 kids ₺353,16
Single/Spouse working + 5 kids ₺375,23
Married + Nonworking Spouse+0 kid ₺264,87
Married + Nonworking Spouse+1 kid ₺297,98
Married + Nonworking Spouse+2 kids ₺331,09
Married + Nonworking Spouse+3 kids ₺375,23

How to Calculate SGK Base?

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SGK base (also called as Earnings Subject to Premium) is the amount SGK and unemployment premium rates are applied.

An employee may receive different type of payments along with his/her basic salary, such as allowances, bonuses and other fringe benefits. All these payments constitute the employee’s total earnings.


In calculation of SGK base it is important to know which earnings (payments) are subject to premium and which are not. Because the pay items are treated differently in the payroll from the point of premium deduction.

Most common earnings subject to premium are as follows;

  • base salary
  • overtime wage
  • transportation allowance paid in cash
  • premium
  • bonus


As per Social Security And General Health Insurance Law No. 5510, Article 80; "benefits in kind and funeral, birth and marriage benefits, duty travel allowances, mobile duty compensation, severance pay, dismissal pay or collective payment in the form of severance pay, estimated cost, pay in lieu of notice or cash compensation, and food, child and family increments of which amount will be determined the Institution in years, private health insurance premiums and personal retirement contribution fees, not exceeding 30% of the monthly total minimum wage, paid by the employers to private health insurances and personal retirement system for insurance holders shall not be included in the earnings subject to premium."


SGK base, also called “Earnings Subject to Premium,” has a lower and upper limit. In other words, the base cannot be lower or over these limits regardless of the total amount of earnings.

The lowest premium base is the daily or monthly minimum wage, and upper limit (cap of SGK base) is equal to 7.5 times of daily or monthly gross minimum wage. SGK contributions don’t change over this cap amount.

Lowest and Cap SGK *(SSI) Base Amounts

As monthly gross minimum wage is determined as ₺2,558.40 for 2019, we can calculate the limits as follows:

Daily SGK Premium Base/Minimum Limit 85.28 TRY Monthly SGK Premium Base/Minimum Limit 2,558.40 TRY
Daily SGK Premium Base/ Maximum Limit (Daily Cap of SGK Premium Base) 639.60 TRY Monthly SGK Premium Base/ Maximum Limit (Monthly Cap of SGK Premium Base) 19,188.00 TR

*SGK (Social Security Institution = SSI)

For earnings exceeding daily 639.60 TRY and/or 19,188.00 TRY SGK premium will not be applied.

Tax Exempt Daily Allowance 2019/2

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Daily Allowance is the money paid to employees in daily basis while they are working away from their workplace whether within the same country or abroad.

Tax exempt daily allowance amounts are determined by General Directorate of Budget and Fiscal Control in line with Travel Expense Law No.6245 twice a year.

Gross Salary (TRY) Daily Allowance (TRY)
3,482.61 and over 61,50
3,457.69-3,482.60 51,60
3,153.08-3,457.68 48,15
2,765.39-3,153.07 45,20
2,293.94-2,765.38 39,85
2,293.93 and less 38,75

The maximum daily allowances payable for business travel outside Turkey are as follows:

Countries and Currencies II.Column III.Column IV.Column V.Column VIColumn VII. Column
3,482.61 and over 3,457.69 - 3,482.60 3,153.08 - 3,457.68 2,765.39 - 3,153.07 2,293.94 - 2,765.38 2,293.93 and less
USD.(USDDollar) 182 146 124 117 110 93
Germany(Euro) 164 131 111 105 99 83
Australia (Aud) 283 227 192 181 171 143
Austria(Euro) 166 132 112 106 100 84
Belgium(Euro) 161 128 109 103 97 81
Denmark (dkr) 1.238 988 838 791 746 627
Finland(Euro) 148 119 100 95 90 74
France (Euro) 160 127 108 102 96 81
Holland (Euro) 156 125 106 100 94 80
England(Pound) 115 91 78 74 69 59
Ireland (Euro) 155 124 105 99 94 78
Spain (Euro) 158 126 107 101 95 80
Swiss(sek) 1.359 1.085 919 867 819 687
Switzerland(chf) 283 226 192 181 171 143
Italy(Euro) 152 122 104 98 92 77
Japan (jpy) 31.405 25.127 21.325 20.118 18.901 15.914
Canada (cad) 244 195 165 156 147 125
Kuwait(kvd) 50 40 35 33 31 25
Luxemburg(Euro) 161 128 109 103 97 82
Norway(nok) 1.193 952 808 762 719 604
Portugal(Euro) 155 124 105 99 93 78
Saudi Arabia (Suudi A. riyal) 617 492 418 395 372 313
Greece(Euro) 158 126 107 101 95 80
Kosovo(Euro) 123 98 83 78 74 63
Other EU Count. (Euro) 127 101 86 81 76 65
Other Countries(USD Dollar) 157 125 106 100 95 80

Severance Pay Upper Limit 2019/2

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Severance pay upper limit is announced as 6.379,86 TRY for the second half of the year. This limit will be applied within the period between 1 July 2019 and 31 December 2019.

As is known, qualified employee shall be paid a severance pay equal to last 30 days' gross wages for each full year of employment. In calculation of the last 30 days' wage, the wage paid and the some contractual and statutory benefits in kind provided by employer shall be taken into account. Also periodical (annually, quarterly etc.) payments such as premium and bonuses will be added in monthly basis.

In Turkey there is a cap for severance pay, however, this limit may be increased by provisions of employment contracts.

Also please note that there is no cap amount for severance pay for press employees.

Click for 2019 / 2 Parameters 

Late Payment Fee is Increased

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Late payment fee applied to public receivables is increased from 2% to 2,5% monthly (yearly 30%).

Late fee (determent interest rate) is imposed in case of not paying in due dates.

As per Presidential Decree 1266, published in the Official Gazette No. 30816, dated 26 July 2019, starting from 1st of July, late payment fee is increased monthly 2,5%
2,5% late fee will be imposed in case of non-payments of installments that should made in line with Structuring laws 6111, 6552, 6736, 7020 and 7143.

Financial Holiday 2019

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Financial holiday is created by Law No. 5604, published in the Official Gazette No. 26476, dated 28 March 2007. The Law aims at giving a break for the accountants (public accountants, professional accountants, sworn-in certified public accountants) between 1 - 20 July every year.

This year financial holiday stars at July 2, 2019 and ends at July 22, 2019. Due date of following legal declarations will be extended up to 29 July (Inc.).

  • SSI monthly premium and service declaration,
  • Workplace registration declaration,
  • Start of employment declaration,
  • Leaver declaration,
  • Objection to administrative fines,
  • Due date of administrative fine payments,
  • Due date of payment of premiums,
    • Objection to premium debts,
    • Due date for the submitting of documents required by inspectors.


  • Work accidents and occupational disease,
  • Approval of reports related to maternity and sickness,
  • Collective redundancy declaration submitted to İŞKUR (Turkish Employment Agency).

Social Security Agreement between Turkey and Hungary- Circular No. 2019/13.

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Social Security Agreement between Turkey and Hungary signed in Budapest on 24th February 2015 has been accepted in Parliament and the related Law No. 6961 has been published in the Official Gazette on 3rd April 2017. The agreement has entered into force on 1st April 2018 by the Cabinet Decree No: 2018/11543.

The points related to implementation of the agreement is explained in Circular 2019-13 issued by “SSI General Directorate of Pension Affairs”. The main points are as follows.

  • Provisions related to unemployment insurance will not be applied to those working independently,
  • Provisions related to work accident, occupational sickness and unemployment insurance will not be applied to personnel working in public administrations.


Secondment/posting period is 24 calendar years.

  • Employed person: In case an employee is send by the employers to work temporarily on behalf of this employer in the other contracting country, that employee will continue to be subject to the legislation of sending country, on condition that posting period doesn’t exceed 24 calendar years and the posting doesn’t aimed at replacing a previously posted person.
  • Self-employed: In case a self-employed person temporarily transfer his business to other contracting country he will be subject to legislation of the first country, on condition that posting period doesn’t exceed 24 calendar years, on condition that self-employed activity doesn’t exceed 24 calendar months.
  • In the above cases, 24 years period may be extended for once up to maximum 60 months by the mutual request of employee and employer, or by the personal request of self-employed person.

For full text of the agreement in Turkish, Hungarian and English visit here.

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