Country Information

The Republic of Turkey is a transcontinental country located in both Europe and Asia. The country is a charter member of the UN and an early member of NATO. The official language is Turkish, however Arabic, Zaza and Kurdish are also spoken throughout the nation. Turkey hosts an impressive automotive industry and are known for their shipbuilding, as well as highly performing electronics sector. Strategic location, economic stability, and untapped potential make Turkey a strategic are for expansion into Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Employment Contracts

An employment contract in Turkey can be established verbally but it is strongly recommended that it be in writing. The contract must be in writing if it is for more than one year. Written contracts must be in the Turkish language if a commercial entity based in Turkey is a party to the contract and the contract will be performed in Turkey. No specific form is required for a written contract, but several terms must either be in the written contract or disclosed to the employee in writing within two months of the start of employment:

  • The employee’s working conditions
  • Daily or weekly working hours
  • Pay and any other compensation the employee receives, and the intervals at which the employee will receive them
  • Duration of the contract
  • Conditions for termination of the contract
Working Hours

The standard workweek is five days, with employees working a maximum of 45 hours. There is no standard arrangement of working hours over the course of the week, but employees are limited to 11 hours in a single day. Underground work such as mining is limited to six hours per day and 36 hours per week. Any time worked in excess of these limits is considered overtime, which is capped at 270 hours annually and requires the employee’s consent.

Sick Leave

Employees receive one week of paid sick leave if they submit a medical certificate through a government disability program. The employer may decide to extend sick leave for up to six months, which is unpaid. However, the employer is not obligated to extend sick leave and if an employee’s illness lasts six weeks.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

Female employees receive eight weeks of maternity leave before the estimated birth date and eight weeks following the birth. She is entitled to an additional two weeks before the birth in the event of multiple births. However, if she chooses to and if her doctor certifies it is safe for her to do so, the expectant mother may work until three weeks before the expected birth date, with the time she did not use before the birth added to the time she receives after giving birth. New mothers also can take unpaid leave of up to six months after maternity leave ends.The father (or the mother’s spouse) receives five days of paternity leave for the birth of a child.

Compensation

Employers are not required to pay employees bonuses but can choose to include bonuses as part of employees’ compensation packages.

Vacation Leave

Employees in Turkey are eligible for vacation leave based on their length of service. Employees with one to five years of service receive 14 days of annual leave. The amount increases to 20 days for employees with five to 15 years of service and to 26 days for 16 years or more. Special rules apply to young employees, workers over 50 years old, miners and others who work underground.

Public Holidays

The following public holidays are observed in Turkey:

  • New Year’s Day
  • National Sovereignty and Children’s Day
  • Labor and Solidarity Day
  • Ramadan
  • Ataturk Memorial, Youth and Sports Day
  • Democracy and National Unity Day
  • Sacrifice Feast
  • Victory Day
  • Republic Day
Health Insurance Benefits

Turkey has universal healthcare. There are also many private providers and clinics. Private health insurance is available.

Employment / Termination / Severance

Employers in Turkey with more than 30 employees may terminate employees who have been employed for more than six months for a legally valid reason. Employees must be given a written notice of termination which states the reason for the termination. The notice period is between two and eight weeks depending on the employee’s length of service.Special rules apply for collective redundancies and disciplinary dismissals. In most situations, employees are entitled to severance if they have at least one year of service. Severance is one month’s salary for every year of service. Employees also receive upon separating from service payment for unused leave and other benefits, allowances, and premiums the employee received.

Local Laws & Regulations

We understand that local laws and regulations change and sourcing an accurate reference guide is not easy. Our data is researched and verified by our team of local international Employment Attorneys, HR and Benefit Professionals and Tax Accountants through our Atlas team and consultants, to ensure information up-to-date and accurate.

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Partner with Atlas

Partnering with Atlas when expanding into Turkey, can dramatically reduce the standard brick and mortar processes of doing business in foreign markets and allow you to focus on what you do best, growing your company! To discover more about how Atlas can simplify your ability to expand globally, please feel free to contact us.
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