Understanding Employment Norms in Turkey: A Comprehensive Guide
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Hiring in Turkey? Read on to find out the employment norms (like taxes, payroll and benefits) and EOR (Employer on Record) norms in Turkey.

Employment Norms in Turkey

Turkey has a complex set of employment norms that govern how workers are hired, paid, and treated in the workplace. Understanding these norms is essential for both employees and employers, as they can have a significant impact on the employment relationship. In this article, we will provide an overview of the employment norms in Turkey, including the types of employment contracts, working hours, wages, and benefits that are typically offered to workers.

General Information:

  • The Turkish lira, TRY is the currency of Turkey.
  • Ankara is the capital of Turkey.
  • Turkish is the official language of Turkey. Documentation should be in Turkish to be considered legally valid.
  • As of 2021, the GDP of Turkey was reported to be 819.04 billion USD.
Labor laws and regulations in Turkey cover working hours, minimum wage, severance pay, and discrimination protections for employees.
Turkey map

Table of Contents

  • Agreements
  • Onboarding Process
  • Visa
  • Minimum Wage
  • Payroll Cycle
  • Annual Bonus
  • Health Benefits
  • Working Hours and Overtime
  • Leaves
  • Social Security
  • Taxes for Employers
  • Taxes for Employees
  • Probation
  • Termination
  • Severance Pay
  • Employees or Contractors
  • Final Words


In Turkey, agreements are governed by the Turkish Code of Obligations and are drafted in Turkish. Common agreements are:
  • Employment Contracts: Establishing the terms and conditions of employment, including working hours, wages, and benefits.
  • Sales Contracts: Setting the terms for the sale and delivery of goods or services.
  • Lease Agreements: Outlining the terms of a rental agreement for a property.
  • Agency Agreements: Defining the relationship between a principal and an agent who acts on their behalf.
  • Distribution Agreements: Setting out the terms for the distribution of products or services by a distributor.
Onboarding Process

Onboarding Process

The onboarding process for employees in Turkey typically involves the following steps:
  • Signing the employment contract.
  • Registering the employee with the Social Security Institution (SGK) and obtaining a tax number.
  • Providing information about the company's policies and procedures.
  • Introducing the employee to their colleagues and manager.
  • Providing training on the employee's job responsibilities and expectations.
  • Issuing any necessary equipment or supplies for the employee to perform their job.
Mandatory documents to be submitted for onboarding include the employee's national ID card, their education and work experience documents, and any necessary medical certificates.


Turkey has several types of work permits/visas, including:
  • Short-term work permit: for foreign nationals who will work in Turkey for up to 90 days
  • Long-term work permit: for foreign nationals who will work in Turkey for more than 90 days
  • Independent work permit: for foreign nationals who wish to establish and operate their own business in Turkey
  • Turquoise Card: a new type of work permit introduced in 2017 for highly skilled foreign nationals who wish to work and live in Turkey permanently

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Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage

As of 2023, the monthly minimum wage in Turkey is TRY 8,506.80.
Payroll Cycle

Payroll Cycle

The payroll cycle in Turkey is either monthly or bi-monthly.
Annual Bonus

Annual Bonus

There are no mandatory laws in Turkey to provide an annual bonus to employees but companies can provide quarterly and annual bonuses to their employees if they want to.
Health Benefits

Health Benefits

There is no specific legislation mandating health benefits for employees in Turkey, but providing health benefits is considered a best practice and can help attract and retain talented employees. These benefits may include:
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Access to private healthcare services
  • Dental and vision care
  • Prescription drug coverage
Working Hours and Overtime

Working Hours and Overtime

  • Work hours: 45 hours per week and 9 hours per day.
  • Break: Employees are entitled to a minimum of one hour of break time per day, which can be divided into two 30-minute periods
  • Overtime: Employees who work overtime are entitled to receive 50% of their regular pay.


Sick Leave

  • Illness that persists for more than 2 days is paid for by social security from the 3rd day onwards.
  • Employers need not pay for the first 2 days of the sick leave
  • Employers can terminate employees that take more than 6 weeks of sick leave.

Parental leaves

  • Female employees are entitled to 16 weeks of maternity leave, and 18 weeks in case of multiple births. It starts from 8 weeks before birth. The employee receives 66.7% of their salary, during this period paid by Social Security
  • Male employees are entitled to 5 days of paternity leave. They receive 100% salary during these leaves, paid by the employer.
  • Paid adoption leaves of 8 weeks are given to employees who are adopting a child below 3 years of age. These parents can also apply for 6 months of unpaid leave once the adoption procedure is over.

Other leaves

  • Bereavement leave of 3 days annually is provided to employees.
  • Employees are entitled to 3 days of marriage leave

Annual leaves

  • The amount of leave is determined by the length of service, with employees getting 14 days of annual leave for the first five years, 20 days of leave from 6 to 14 years of service, and 26 days for 15 and more years of service.

Public Holidays (for the Calendar year 2023)

  • 1 Jan: New Year's Day
  • 21-23 Apr: Ramazan Bayrami Holiday
  • 23 Apr: Children's Day
  • 1 May: Labor Day
  • 19 May: Youth and Sports Day
  • 28 Jun-1 Jul: Kurban Bayrami Holiday
  • 15 Jul: Democracy and National Solidarity Day
  • 30 Aug: Victory Day
  • 29 Oct: Republic Day

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Social Security

Social Security

Social security in Turkey is provided by the Social Security Institution (SGK). It provides coverage for health care, retirement, disability, and unemployment benefits. the employer contribution is 22.5% while the employee contribution is 15%.
Taxes for Employers

Taxes for Employers

Employers in Turkey are required to pay several types of taxes, including:
  • Short-Term Insurance: Employers contribute 2% towards short-term insurance.
  • Unemployment Insurance Premium: The contribution rate is currently set at 2%.
  • General health insurance - Employers contribute 7.5% towards general health insurance.
  • Insurance and disability: Employers are required to contribute 11% towards this fund.

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Taxes for Employees

Taxes for Employees

Employees in Turkey are required to pay several types of taxes, including:
  • Income Tax: Employees are subject to income tax on their earnings. The tax rates vary based on income level:
    • 0 - 32,000: 15%
    • 32,000 - 70,000: 20%
    • 70,000 - 250,000: 27%
    • 250,000 - 880,000: 35%
    • 880,000 and above: 40%
  • Pension & disability: The contribution rate is 9% of the employee's gross salary.
  • General Health Insurance: The employee contribution is set to 5%.
  • Unemployment Insurance Premium: The employee contribution rate is currently set at 1%.


The probation period for employees in Turkey is 2 months.It can be exceeded to 4 months on mutual agreement.

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Valid reasons for termination in Turkey include:
  • Incompetence or poor performance
  • Misconduct or violation of company policies
  • Absenteeism or chronic lateness
  • Health reasons
  • Economic reasons, such as downsizing or bankruptcy
Severance Pay

Severance Pay

The amount of severance pay in Turkey is 1 month's salary for every year worked. It is given to the employee after they have completed one year of employment.
Employees or Contractors

Employees or Contractors

In Turkey, misclassifying an employee as a contractor or vice versa can have significant legal and financial implications for both the employer and the worker.
  • Employers who misclassify employees as contractors can face penalties and fines, and may be required to pay back taxes and social security contributions.
  • Workers who are misclassified as contractors may be denied important employment benefits and protections, such as minimum wage, overtime pay, and social security contributions.
Final Words

Final Words

Turkey has a well-established legal framework for employment that provides important protections and benefits for both workers and employers. It offers a stable and attractive environment for businesses and employees alike, with opportunities for growth and development.

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