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Employment Law in Turkey

Employment law in Turkey applies to Turkish and foreign nationals. Special provisions exist which regulate the employment and residence permits of foreign nationals who intend to work in Turkey.

The main pieces of employment-related legislation applicable to both Turkish Nationals and Foreign Nationals are the:

  • Turkish Constitution

  • Turkish Labour Code (No. 4857) published in the Official Gazette dated 22 May 2003 and numbered 25134

  • Turkish Code of Obligations (No. 6098) published in the Official Gazette dated 4 February 2012 and numbered 27836, which entered into force on 1 July 2012

  • Social Insurance and General Health Insurance Code (No. 5510) published in the Official Gazette dated 16 June 2006 and numbered 26200

  • Code of Work Permits for Foreigners (No. 4817) published in the Official Gazette dated 6 March 2003 and numbered 25040

  • Code on Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining (No. 6536) published in the Official Gazette dated 7 November 2012 and numbered 28460

  • Workplace Health and Safety Code (No. 6331) published in the Official Gazette dated 30 June 2012 and numbered 28339

  • Maritime Labour Law numbered 854

  • Press and Media Labour Law numbered 5953

  • Turkish Code of Obligations numbered 6098 (the “TCO”)

  • Occupational Health and Safety Law numbered 6331

  • Labour Courts Act numbered 7036

  • Court of Appeal’s Assembly of Civil Chambers decisions on the unification of the conflicting judgments.

The purpose of the Turkish Labour Act is to regulate the working conditions and work-related rights and obligations of employers and employees working under an employment contract. The Labour Law shall apply to all the establishments, employers, and employees.

Employment Law in Turkey: Quick Facts
  • Probationary periods, during which the employer or employee may terminate the employment contract without notice. The duration is for two months extendable to four months following the consent of both parties. Probationary Periods

  • An employment contract is defined as an agreement between an employer and an employee, whereby the latter commits to working for, and under the management and supervision of, the former in return for a wage. Employment Contracts

  • All employees must have a standard-format written employment contract, containing specified minimum information.

  • The minimum wage is 2029.50 Turkish Liras.

  • Employees are entitled to several pension plans under the Social Security benefits. Retirement

  • Employees’ normal working time must not generally exceed 45 hours per week. Working Hours and Days

  • Employees are entitled to paid annual leave after they have completed one year’s service. The amount of the paid annual leave varies depending on their years of service. Annual Leave

  • Pregnant employees are entitled to 16–18 weeks of maternity leave. An employer must neither dismiss a pregnant employee nor send any notice during the pregnancy or maternity leave. Maternity Leave

  • Employees are generally entitled to sick leave of up to one week. Sick Leave

  • The employer may not discriminate between working men and women with regard to: type of work, amount of wage or salary, employment, promotion, professional qualifications, and apparel. Prohibition of Discrimination

  • There is a general, non-specific ban on any discrimination that prejudices equal opportunity employment, equal access to jobs, equal continuity of employment or equal enjoyment of rights, and on discrimination between employees with the same work duties. Disability is the only grounds on which discrimination is specifically prohibited. Discrimination

  • Employers must provide employees with adequate means of protection against hazards of occupational injury and disease that may occur during work. They also have a range of specific obligations in this area. Employees’ Obligations and Rights

  • In principle, an employer may dismiss an employee at any time without notice on certain misconduct-related grounds. Other reasons of termination will lead to unlawful termination and full end of service gratuity. Termination of Employment