Employment Law in Turkey

Employment Law in Turkey

Updated on Monday 21st November 2022

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The Labor Law no. 4857 and Trade Union Law are the two main regulations applied by both the foreign and local entrepreneurs who open a company in Turkey and hire personnel. The former Labor Law no. 1475 was abolished, but some of its articles have been maintained, such as the article related to severance payments. The law stipulates that no one can make any act of discrimination among employees related to their race, gender, religion, political or philosophical belief etc. Our law firm in Turkey can offer more information on the Employment Law applicable in this country.


Other laws applicable to local and foreign employees in Turkey


Apart from the Labor Code, there are a few other laws which employers and employees must respect in Turkey. These are:


  • the Code of Obligations which was enacted in 2012;
  • the Social Insurance and General Health Insurance Law from 2006;
  • the Workplace Health and Safety Law from 2012.


Foreign employees also fall under the provisions of the Law of Work Permits for Foreigners of 2003. Turkish employers must also comply with the International Private and Procedural Law with respect to work contracts signed with foreign employees or partnerships with foreign companies.

Types of employment contracts in Turkey

Foreign investors must choose one of these types of employment contracts for their personnel:
  1. Temporary or permanent work.
  2. Definite or indefinite period.
  3. Part-time or full-time.
  4. “Work-upon-call”.
  5. Starting with a trial period.
  6. Team contract.

For these types of employment contracts, an entrepreneur has to pay no duties or fees. Information about work contracts and legal aspects can be offered by one of our Turkish lawyers.
Do you want to immigrate to Turkey? You can call on our Turkish lawyers who have experience in this field. Those interested in obtaining a start-up visa must apply for an entrepreneur visa in order to start a business. As for the residence permit, it can be obtained if proof of the new domicile is provided, as well as a valid passport. Contact us for legal services and see how you can be helped by our experts.

Content of the employment contract in Turkey

According to the Turkish Employment Law, a work contract, no matter its type, must contain specific elements. Among these are:
  • - information about the employee and employer;
  • - the conditions of employment;
  • - the salary and other benefits;
  • - the working hours.


Also, the employment contract must be granted to the employee in a written form. Collective agreements are allowed under the Turkish Labor Code. Our Turkish lawyers can offer more information on these types of contracts and can also explain the Family Law and the Labor Code.

The probation period for employees in Turkey

The Employment Law in Turkey clearly states that new employees must pass the probation period of up to two months, a time when the worker has the possibility of leaving the job without further notice in this sense. However, during this period, the employer is obliged to provide a contract with complete information about the job title and tasks, working hours, payment, work conditions, holiday rights, litigation cases and many more. This is the standard contract that also comprises information about the probation period. It is important to have the legal support of a Turkish attorney who can explain your rights when receiving an employment contract. Also, managers or directors of a company in Turkey need to know in-depth details about their work contract and the situations related to how they can resign if it is the case. 

Are there any special clauses in a work contract in Turkey?

Yes, some employers might place a specific clause in a contract and that might refer to the restriction of working with competitors in the market. This means that a person cannot provide confidential information and cannot work with other companies in Turkey having the same activities on the market. Such a clause might be on a limited-term or can be on an indefinite period, depending on the employment contract and the conditions agreed. This is also known as a restraint of trade clause which is normally described in a work contract. If you need more details about this kind of clause, feel free to get in touch with one of our attorneys in Turkey.

The payment of employees in Turkey

In most of the cases, the payment for employees in Turkey is made on a monthly basis, however, in exceptional cases, senior employees in a company might have extra benefits except the salary. Some workers in Turkey are paid on a daily basis, in cash, but these might be subject to a different kind of employment contract. For further information, please talk to our lawyers in Turkey.

How is a contract terminated in Turkey?

The termination of a work contract in Turkey starts with a notice in this sense. For example, if an employee works in a company for about 18 months, he or she must notify the employer about the intentions of quitting the job with 4 weeks ahead. It is good to know that employment contracts can be terminated in agreement with both parts. An employee might have varied reasons to close or ask for a work contract to be terminated. Among these, health problems, the cases in which employers do not respect the conditions found in the contract, or the job is not the same as agreed in the first place. On the other hand, employers can decide on firing a person and close the work contract if the employee does not fulfill his/her tasks and attributes. In any case, the employee or the employer must make a notification in such a case.

Working hours and holidays

For a full-time contract, the maximum period of working during a week is 45 hours. An employee who works more than 45 hours per week will be paid for supplementary hours. These hours have another payment regime that is 50% higher than the regular working hours. The entrepreneurs who don’t want to pay for the supplementary hours have the possibility to give free time to their employees. For every hour worked as a supplement, a worker can get 1.5 hours of free time. The total number of supplementary hours worked per year can’t exceed 270.
According to the Labor Law, there are six public holidays per year and all of these are paid (January 1, April 23, May 1, May 19, August 30, October 29). Every employee can get an extra two periods (maximum eight days) of religious holiday per year. Besides these days, every worker will have a holiday between minimum 14 and 26 working days, according to his years of work. The wages will be paid in Turkish Lira (TRY) in the bank account of every employee and if the employer doesn’t respect this procedure will get an administrative penalty. There is no restriction related to the duration of an employment contract. The contracts for a definite period of time can be renewed more then once only in certain situations. A foreign citizen who wants to work at a Turkish firm must first obtain the work permit and work visa and the procedure can last nearly one month.

Companies and investments in Turkey

Turkey is open to foreign investments and international companies that want to operate in this part of Asia (only 3% of the Turkish territory is found in Europe). Enterprises from abroad can have local or foreign workers, as long as they respect the visa matters and requirements (in the case of EU and non-EU citizens). The excellent geographic location of Turkey is in most cases a solid reason to believe that a foreign company will have success and that because the country provides a well-developed transportation system by air, sea, and land. Some might be interested in opening logistics companies, or businesses in the thriving tourism sector. According to the latest statistics regarding the investments for the first 3 months of 2019, Azerbaijan was the principal investor in Turkey in the oil and gas sector. Below you can also find interesting information and facts about the investment and business direction in Turkey:
  1. The total FDI inward flow in Turkey for 2018 was around USD 12,9 million.
  2. The total FDI stock for 2018 in Turkey stood at approximately USD 134,5 million.
  3. Approximately 24.2% of the foreign investments in 2019 were directed to the energy industry in Turkey.
  4. There are about 3,700 foreign companies established in Turkey.
  5. There are more than 2,900 subsidiaries registered in Turkey.
  6. 10% of the total companies in Turkey (18,000) is held by international companies.
Working in Turkey is subject to a series of formalities that can be handled by one of our local attorneys.
They can also offer complete support for starting a business in TurkeyIf you have questions or you need assistance with the formalities related to Labor Law, you can call our local lawyers in TurkeyWe can also help yout if you want to buy a property in Turkey