Legal News

Foreign Labor Quota in Turkey

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Turkish companies must employ certain number of Turkish citizens for applying work permit or hiring foreigners. In other words, number of employed work permit holders cannot exceed the company's total labor force.

Ratio of foreign employee depends on the sector, qualification of foreigner and the international treaties as it will be seen below.

  • Five Turkish citizen employee for each foreigner,
  • In case the foreigner applying for work permit is a co-partner of the company, above said condition is required for the last six months of one-year work permit,
  • For foreigners to be employed in associations and foundations, representative agencies of foreign countries’ airlines in Turkey, in education sector and home services sector, no quota is necessary,
  • For occupations requiring expertise and proficiency in the entertainment and tourism-animation organization and firms, there will be no need for separate quota application on condition that at least 10 Turkish citizen persons are employed in these firms.
  • In the existence of bounding provisions in bilateral or multilateral agreements to which Turkey is a party/ for the foreigners who will be employed in buying of services or goods from public institution and agencies via contract or tender no quota is needed.
  • In the case the job requires advanced technology, or in case there is no Turkish professional with equal qualification, quota will not be applied. However, General Directorate’s approval is necessary,
  • In Foreign Direct Investment with Special Features, quota will be applied by taking the number of Turkish citizens working in all workplaces of the company countrywide
  • At the workplace for which work permit is requested, number of working refugees under temporary protection cannot exceed %10 of the employed Turkish citizens.


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Some members of professions cannot be employed on arduous and dangerous work without Professional Competence Certificate after 11th November 2019.

According to Communique (SIRA NO: 2018/1) published in Official Gazette No. 30592, dated 11 November 2018, employees working in the professions included in the annexed list must obtain professional competence certificate within one year, otherwise they cannot be employed these professions.

Some of the common professions included in the list are:

  • construction workers
  • turner
  • forester
  • milling machine operator


Starting from 11 November 2019, 500,00 TRY administrative fine will be imposed for each employee working without professional competence certificate in arduous and dangerous work.

For the full list please visit:



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Wage can be determined as monthly, daily, hourly, as a piece or job rate or on a percentage basis.

Payment of wage must be on monthly basis at the latest. Payment period can be reduced down to one week.

Hourly wage is the amount paid to employee for per hours worked. As the wage usually is remunerated in monthly or weekly basis, calculation of hourly rate may be complex sometimes.   Also it is important to calculate hourly wage for overtime work.


1 – Employee contracted in monthly basis

As a rule hourly wage is calculated as gross amount. In case the wage remunerated in monthly basis, monthly wage should be divided to monthly working hours.

For example: Monthly salary is 3.000 TRY

Month is considered as 30 days in Labor Law.

Daily work hours: 7,5 hours.

Monthly work hours: 225

Hourly wage: 3000/30/7,5 = 13,33 TRY

Or 3000/225 = 13,33 TRY

2 – Employee contracted hourly basis

In the moths with 31 days monthly work hours will be taken as 31*7,5 =232,5

In the months with 28 days monthly work hours will be taken as 31*7,5 =232,5 = 210


The wage for each hour of overtime work is paid by raising the hourly rate of the regular working wage by fifty percent. In other words, wages for each hour of overtime shall be remunerated at one and a half times the normal hourly rate.

Example: Worked 50 hours within the week. First we find the hourly wage of employee as below.

Monthly working hours: 225

Monthly Salary: 2.029,50 TRY

Hourly wage 2.029,50 /225 = 9,02 TRY

50% increased hourly wage: 9,02*1,5 = 13,53 TRY

Overtime: 50-45=5 hours.

Overtime remuneration: 5*13,53 = 67,65 TRY.


In work at extra hours, the wage for each extra hour is paid by raising the hourly rate of the regular working wage by twenty-five percent; in other words each extra hour shall be remunerated at one and a quarter times the normal hourly rate.

Example: Monthly working hours is 40 hours. Employee worked 43 hours within the week. Monthly salary is 3.000,00 TRY. First we find daily working hours.

Daily working hours = Weekly work 40 hours / 6 days = 6,667 hours.

Monthly work hours = 6,667 * 30 days = 200 hours.

Hourly wage = 3.000 / 200 = 15 TRY

Then we find 25% increased wage:

25% increased wage = 15 *1,25 = 18,75 TRY

Work at hours: 43 – 40 = 3 hours

3 hours * 18,75 TL=56,25 TRY.

If the employee who has worked overtime or at extra hours so wishes, rather than receiving overtime pay he may use, as free time, one-hour and thirty minutes for each hour worked overtime and one hour and fifteen minutes for each extra hour worked.

Turkey Stays on Summer Time

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Turkey switched to permanent summer time and did not set back the clocks while many of the countries in the World and Europe have already set back their clocks one hour back on 28 October, 2018.

Country’s summer time (DTS) will be the country’s non-changing standard time fixed on GMT +3.

Please be reminded that an extra 1 hour time difference have occurred with the countries who passed to winter time. In European and other countries in which DST is ended on October 28, it is important for individuals and companies, who are in communication with Turkey, to take this extra an hour time-lag into consideration starting from 28 October


Turkey's time is Eastern European Time (EET).

Standard (and stable) Time zone will be UTC/GMT +3 hours. There will be no winter time adjustment anymore.

Witholding Tax Applications Postponed

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Withholding Tax and Monthly Premium Service Document applications, which had been announced earlier to start on 1st October 2018 are now postponed to 1st July 2019.

As is known, it is stipulated by the Law No. 6728 that withholding tax returns and SSI e-declarations to be combined in a single form under the name of “Withholding Tax and Monthly Premium Service Document” and submitted only to the tax offices until the 23rd of the following month.

Now, with the Ministry of Treasury and Finance Communique published in Official Gazette, dated 27 October 2018, numbered 30578, the application of Withholding Tax and Monthly Premium Service Documents are postponed to 1st July 2019. Until this date, SSI declarations and withholding tax returns will be submitted separately, as before.


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Severance payment is arranged in article 14 (still in effect) of Former Labor Law no. 1475.

Severance pay is equal to employee’s last 30 days’ gross wage for each full year of service at the same workplace. For a portion of a year, pro rata payment must be made.

As companies made various types of payments, it is always a controversial issue to determine the last 30 days’ wage.


  • Gross base salary
  • Additional payments/Vested benefits whether in cash of in kind (meal allowances, transportation fee, fuel, housing etc.).
  • If allowances change according to days within the months (different for the months with 30, 31 or 28 days), yearly average should be taken as a base while calculating the monthly contribution to severance calculation.
  • Food and other stuff, gold aid, and other items that can be convertible to money provided periodically.
  • Periodic payments (bonuses and premiums). A regularly paid yearly bonus should be divided by 12 to find the monthly amount.
  • If employee is paid net, the net amount should be grossed up.


  • Annual vacation pay, weekend holiday pay, maternity benefit, death benefit, overtime pay, travelling expenses, job seeking allowance
  • Ad-hoc payments such as bonuses paid irregularly.
  • Payment made as incentive.


Description of wage in Article 61 of Income Tax Law 193 gives an enlightening idea about the gross wage and vested employee benefits,

"Wage is a benefit provided by cash in kind and cash, represented by cash, in return of services performed by employees registered and subject to an employer.  It does not change the true nature of wage by paying it under the names of indemnity, allowance, cash compensation (Financial Liability Indemnity), allocation, increment, advance, remuneration, attendance fee, premium, bonus, in return of an expense or determined by a particular percent of revenue provided not to have the attribute of a partnership."


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October 29 Republic Day (the day Republic of Turkey is proclaimed in 1923) is the Turkey’s only national day. It starts at 13:00 on 28th and continues until the end of 29 October.

Due to contradicting provisions in different laws, it is always a question of debate whether working on Republic Day is legal or not.

  • As per Law on National Holidays and General Holidays No. 2429, public and private sector establishments must be shut down in Republic Day. The workplaces that have to work continuously in line with their special laws may work.
  • However, Labor Law doesn’t make any discrimination between national holidays and public holidays. As per article 44, work on national days and public holidays can be arranged in employment contracts and collective agreements. If there is no such arrangements employee’s consent is required.


In our opinion;

  • In case the special laws allows, the establishments that have to work continuously due to nature of their operations (such as bread bakeries, hospitals) may carry on working on republic day.
  • The other workplaces must be shut down.
  • In case there is no clause related to work on holidays in employment contract or in the collective agreement, employees’ consent must be obtained in written.


As per article 47 of Labor Law No. 857;

  • Employees not working on national days and public holidays shall be paid a full day’s wage.
  • Employees working on national days and public holidays shall be paid an additional full day’s wage for each day worked. (In total double the full daily wage)


Child workers who have completed the age of 14 but below age of 15, and young employees who have not completed the full age of 18 cannot be worked on national days and public holidays.

Does Employer Have to Give You a Raise?

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Employer is not obliged to grant any wage raise unless it is stated in the employment contract.


Labor Law No.4857 contains provisions as regard to description and methods of wage, protected portion of wage, minimum wage and so on; however there is no arrangement about the wage rise.

Wage must be determined by employer and employee in a written contract. Also the collective agreements have the force of law.

In case a wage raise is stipulated in employment contract, or gained by collective agreement this raise have to be paid to employees.

According to Labor Law 4857, Article 24/II-e; the employee is entitled to break the contract for just cause and to require severance pay, in case the employer fails to make out a wages account or to pay wages in conformity with the Labor Law and the terms of the contract.


No, not unless a clause stipulating certain wage rise exists in your contract.

The employer, while he is applying wage rise, has the right to take into consideration the seniority, performance, educational status etc.

However, if employer is traditionally granting rise to all personnel in certain periods without discrimination, he cannot keep some of the employees out of the rise. Otherwise this would be against the equality principle stated in Labor Law, article 5; “No discrimination based on language, race, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion and sex or similar reasons is permissible in the employment relationship. …Differential remuneration for similar jobs or for work of equal value is not permissible.

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