Is Christmas a Holiday in Turkey


In today’s globalizing economies we witness an international labor movement, almost in every country of the world increasing number of foreign people with various nationality, belief and tradition are being employed.

Without prejudice to international treaties based on reciprocity principle, all foreign employees are subject to governing labor legislation of the country they are working in.   

As Christmas days (24-26 December) is not specified in “Law on National and General Holidays, No. 2429” which regulates the holidays in Turkey employers are not obliged to grand their Christian employees any paid leave.

However, Article 45 of Labor Law, No. 4857 sets forth that “Any vested rights (on the weekly rest day, national and public holidays, paid vacations) based on law, collective agreement, employment contract or custom which provide employees with more favorable rights and benefits shall be protected.” By virtue of above provision employer may grand paid leave on Christmas either by his/her own initiative or through employment contract.

As a matter of fact, we witness that some foreign national employees working in the branches of foreign based companies, or in liaison offices are taking the Christmas days as paid holiday.

Also, as foreign missions generally are not open on their own countries’ holidays, the employee of the Christian foreign missions will take the 24-26 December as paid holiday.


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