For many of you, along with a new life comes the prospect of a new job. Whether you are being transferred to the Turkish branch of your company or intend to find a job on your own, you need to be aware of the rights and benefits you are eligible to as a worker. Here is an overview of the employment and working conditions in Turkey.
If you are looking to start your own enterprise, please see our setting up a business in Turkey article.
Turkish work permit
All foreigners intending to work in Turkey must obtain a work permit. To learn more, please read our long-term permits in Turkey article.
Employees in Turkey can be hired under permanent, fixed-term or short-term (under 30 days) contracts, either on a full- or part-time basis. Some contracts include a 2-month trial period whereby both the employer and the employee may walk out without notice or compensation.
Good to know:
The renewal or extension of a fixed-term contract automatically transforms it into a permanent one.
Your employer must provide you with a written document specifying your detailed working conditions (working time, base salary and possible bonuses, benefits, duration, termination clauses, etc.)
Wages are generally determined freely by employers provided they do not fall below a fixed minimum wage. As of 2017, the monthly gross minimum wage stood at 1,777 Turkish liras. For information about income tax in Turkey please check our Taxes in Turkey article.
The Turkish law also includes wage guidelines for specific occupations. According to these, senior executives should be compensated at least 6.5 times the overall minimum wage; the factor decreases to 4 times for architects and engineers, 3 times for teachers, and 1.5 times the minimum wage for domestic helpers.
Wages should be paid on a monthly basis at maximum.
Working hours and holidays
The legal working time is capped at 45 working hours a week, with a maximum of 11 working hours a day. The duration of night shifts is limited at 7 hours and a half.
Overtime work requires your consent and should not exceed 270 hours per year. Each overtime hour is compensated at a 1.5 rate.
National holidays are considered as paid holidays, and working on a public holiday will owe you double pay.
The amount of paid leave you are entitled to is based on your seniority, from 14 days yearly under 5 years in the company to 26 days off after a 15-year contract.
Good to know:
Most office employees work from 9 to 6, Monday through Friday.
Work contracts can be terminated by either the employee or employer, with notice delays varying according to the duration of the contract.
In companies with a headcount over 30, the dismissal of an employee with a permanent contract and employed for over 6 months must be justified by a valid reason, related either to the capacity or conduct of the employee or to the operational requirements of the company. Union membership or absence from work during maternity or sickness leaves are for example not valid grounds. Should you be dismissed without proper justification, you may file an appeal and claim reinstatement or damages.
Both the employer and the employee are entitled to break the contract in case of serious illness, immoral conduct from the other party, or failure from the other party to comply with the provisions of the contract.
Collective layoffs are ruled by specific conditions and involve trade unions as well as the Turkish Labor Organisation, which endeavour to negotiate adequate compensation for employees.
Good to know:
As in many other countries, employees in the service sector are expected to dress in a business-friendly manner (suits or at least shirts for men, classic tailored suits or at least restrained casual attire for women). Casual Fridays are not a widespread custom in Turkish companies.