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Discover everything you need to know about Turkey

Hire in Turkey at a glance

Here ares some key facts regarding hiring in Turkey

Turkish Lira
GDP growth
GDP world share
Payroll frequency
Working hours
45 hours/week

Overview in Turkey

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  • Geography: Turkey spans both Europe and Asia, divided by the Turkish Straits. It features diverse landscapes including the Anatolian plateau, mountain ranges, and coastlines along the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas. The climate varies from Mediterranean along the coasts to drier interiors and colder mountainous regions.

  • History: Turkey's rich history includes ancient civilizations like the Hittites and Byzantines, and later the Ottoman Empire which influenced much of Southeast Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who introduced significant reforms.

  • Socio-Economic Aspects: Turkey is an upper-middle-income country with a young and growing population. It faces challenges such as job creation, urbanization, and regional disparities. The economy is diverse, with significant sectors in services, industry, and agriculture. Education and skill development are priorities to meet labor market needs.

  • Work Culture: Turkish work culture values hospitality and relationship-building, often featuring indirect communication and a respect for hierarchy. Modern and traditional practices coexist, with varying norms across different regions and sectors.

  • Economic Sectors: Key sectors include tourism, retail, finance, and manufacturing, with emerging areas in technology and renewable energy. Regional disparities affect economic opportunities, and Turkey's strategic location influences its trade and economic stability.

Taxes in Turkey

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  • Income Tax Withholding: Employers in Turkey are required to withhold income tax from employee salaries under the Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) system, with payments due by the 26th of the following month.

  • Social Security Contributions: Employers must register with the Social Security Institution (SGK) and contribute 20.5% of gross salaries (with a possible 5% reduction under certain conditions). Employees also contribute 14% of their gross salary. Contributions fund benefits like retirement, healthcare, and unemployment, and are due by the 26th of the following month.

  • Unemployment Insurance: Employers contribute 2% and employees 1% of gross salaries to the unemployment insurance fund, which supports unemployment benefits.

  • Stamp Tax: Employers must also pay a stamp tax of 0.759% on documents like payrolls, due by the 26th of the following month.

  • VAT System: Turkey has a Value-Added Tax (VAT) system with standard rates of 18%, 8%, and 1%, depending on the goods and services. Certain services, such as financial, educational, and healthcare, are exempt from VAT. VAT returns are generally filed monthly and payments are due by the 26th of the following month.

  • Tax Incentives: Turkey offers various tax incentives to stimulate investment, including reduced corporate income tax rates, VAT exemptions, customs duty exemptions, and technopark incentives. Eligibility depends on factors like sector, region, investment size, and strategic importance. The application process involves submitting a detailed project proposal to relevant authorities for evaluation.

Leave in Turkey

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In Turkey, the amount of paid annual leave an employee receives is based on their tenure with the same employer. Employees with 1-5 years of service are entitled to 14 days, those with 5-15 years receive 20 days, and those with over 15 years get 26 days. Leave entitlement requires continuous service with the same employer. Unused leave can be carried over to the next year with employer consent or compensated financially.

Vacation scheduling involves both the employer and employee, although the employer has the final say on timing. Turkey also observes several national and religious holidays, including New Year's Day, National Sovereignty and Children's Day, Labor and Solidarity Day, Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day, Democracy and National Unity Day, Victory Day, Republic Day, Ramadan Bayramı (Eid al-Fitr), and Kurban Bayramı (Eid al-Adha).

Other types of leave under Turkish Labour Law include sick leave, maternity leave (16 weeks), paternity leave (5 days), and leave for marriage or death in the family. Employers may offer more generous leave terms than the legal minimums, which would be specified in employment contracts or handbooks.

Benefits in Turkey

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Uruguayan labor law provides a comprehensive set of mandatory employee benefits, including paid time off, social security contributions, and parental leave. Employees are entitled to a minimum of 20 working days of annual leave, which can increase with tenure, and receive full salary plus a "vacation salary" during this period. Additionally, Uruguay observes several public holidays with paid leave.

Social security contributions by employers cover various benefits, and maternity and paternity leaves are compensated at 100% of the employee's salary. For sick leave, employers pay the full salary for the first three days, and extended sick leave is compensated at 70%. Severance pay is mandated upon dismissal, and employees receive an annual bonus equivalent to one month's salary.

Optional benefits often provided by employers include flexible work arrangements, childcare assistance, performance-based bonuses, profit sharing, and voluntary retirement savings plans. Health and wellness programs may include private health insurance, gym memberships, and wellness initiatives. Life insurance and financial support for further education are other perks that can be offered.

Uruguay's retirement system includes a Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) system managed by the National Social Security Bank and Individual Savings Accounts (AFAP) for those earning above a certain threshold. The retirement age is currently 63 for those born in or after 1976, with potential increases planned.

For the most accurate and detailed information, consulting with legal counsel or official Uruguayan government sources is recommended.

Workers Rights in Turkey

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Turkey's labor laws outline provisions for both ordinary and justified termination of employment contracts. Ordinary termination can occur through mutual agreement, employee resignation, the end of a fixed-term contract, retirement, or the death of the employee. Justified termination may be due to employer's needs such as economic downturns or restructuring, or employee-related reasons like poor performance or misconduct.

Notice requirements vary based on the length of service, ranging from 2 weeks for less than 6 months of service to 8 weeks for more than 3 years. Severance pay is provided under ordinary termination, calculated based on the length of service and final salary.

The country's anti-discrimination laws protect against discrimination based on gender, language, race, color, religion, sect, political opinion, and philosophical belief, with the constitution explicitly prohibiting such discrimination. However, protections for sexual orientation and gender identity are not specified. Victims of discrimination can seek redress through the Human Rights and Equality Institution of Turkey or the Ombudsman Institution, and employers are responsible for creating a non-discriminatory workplace environment.

Work hours in Turkey are capped at 45 hours per week, with regulations on overtime compensation. Employees are entitled to rest periods and paid annual leave, which increases with tenure. Employers must ensure workplace safety by assessing risks, providing safe equipment and training, and developing emergency plans. Employees have rights to a safe workplace, access to safety information and training, and can refuse unsafe work.

Enforcement of these regulations is primarily the responsibility of the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, with support from the Ministry of Health in promoting workplace health and safety standards.

Agreements in Turkey

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Employment contracts in Turkey are regulated by Turkish Labor Law No. 4857, which categorizes contracts into indefinite-term and definite-term. Indefinite-term contracts, the standard type, do not have a specified end date and must be in writing if they exceed one year. Definite-term contracts are used under specific conditions like project completion and must clearly justify their fixed duration in writing. Part-time contracts are limited to two-thirds of a 45-hour workweek, and contracts with foreign workers require written agreements.

The law also accommodates teleworking and mandates certain clauses in all employment contracts for clarity and protection, including identification of parties, job duties, remuneration, working hours, leave policies, termination clauses, and dispute resolution methods. A probationary period of up to two months, extendable to four months, is recognized, allowing both employer and employee to assess suitability.

Confidentiality and non-compete clauses are also regulated, ensuring they are justified, reasonable in scope, and potentially compensated. These clauses must be specific and written to be enforceable. Employers are advised to consult legal counsel when drafting these clauses to comply with the law and protect their interests effectively.

Remote Work in Turkey

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Remote work in Turkey is governed by the Remote Working Regulation (No. 31519) introduced in March 2021, which complements the Labour Law No. 4857. This regulation mandates a written agreement for remote work specifying job details, working conditions, and employee rights, ensuring that remote workers receive the same benefits as on-site employees. Employers are responsible for providing necessary equipment, covering work-related expenses, and ensuring occupational health and safety. Technological infrastructure is crucial, requiring reliable internet and secure communication tools.

Flexible work arrangements like part-time work, flexitime, and job sharing are also supported, though they are less regulated and typically outlined in employment contracts. Additionally, the Turkish Personal Data Protection Law (Law No. 6698) plays a critical role in protecting the privacy and data of remote workers, with employers needing to ensure data security and transparency.

Overall, these regulations aim to provide a structured and secure framework for remote and flexible work in Turkey, promoting a balanced and equitable work environment.

Working Hours in Turkey

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Turkish labor law sets a standard 45-hour workweek, typically distributed as 7.5 hours across six days, though variations are allowed if they don't exceed 11 hours per day. Overtime, defined as work beyond these limits, must be compensated at 1.5 times the regular rate or exchanged for time off. Special rules apply for overtime, night shifts, and weekend work, including mandatory rest periods and additional pay for work during these times. Employees have a right to a weekly rest period of at least 24 hours, usually during the weekend, and specific protections are in place for certain groups like young workers and pregnant women. Night shifts are capped at 7.5 hours unless exceptions apply, and workers must receive regular health checks.

Salary in Turkey

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Securing a competitive salary in Turkey involves understanding various factors that influence market competitiveness, including job responsibilities, industry standards, and location. Websites like Payscale Turkey and SalaryExpert provide valuable data on average salaries, while the Turkish Ministry of Labor offers insights into broader employment trends. A comprehensive compensation package goes beyond salary, including benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and social security contributions, which enhance the overall value of job offers. Additionally, the national minimum wage, set by Presidential Decrees and adjusted periodically, ensures a basic standard of living for workers and fair business competition. Employers must also adhere to legal requirements for salary payments, including the frequency and method of payment, and provide payslips to employees. Understanding these elements can empower both employers and employees to navigate the job market confidently and ensure fair compensation.

Termination in Turkey

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Turkish Labor Law Notice and Severance Regulations

Under Turkish Labor Law (No. 4857), employment termination requires adherence to statutory notice periods based on the duration of employment:

  • Less than 6 months: 2 weeks' notice
  • 6 months to 1.5 years: 4 weeks' notice
  • 1.5 years to 3 years: 6 weeks' notice
  • More than 3 years: 8 weeks' notice

Notice must be provided in writing, and exceptions include termination with just cause or by mutual agreement. Failure to provide notice obligates the employer to pay the equivalent salary for the notice period.

Severance Pay Eligibility and Calculation

Employees qualify for severance pay after at least one year of service, with the amount based on the employee's final gross salary, including all benefits. Severance pay equals 30 days' salary for each full year of employment. There is a maximum severance pay limit, adjusted semi-annually.

Exceptions and Payment

Severance pay is not due if a fixed-term contract concludes on its agreed end date or if termination is due to gross misconduct. Severance must be paid in a lump sum upon contract termination.

Types of Employment Termination

  • Mutual Agreement: Both parties agree on termination terms.
  • Termination by Employer: Can be with notice or without notice (just cause).
  • Termination by Employee: Can be with notice or without notice (just cause).

All terminations must be documented in writing to comply with legal standards. Additional protections and terms may be provided under collective labor agreements, and terminations for discriminatory reasons are prohibited.

Freelancing in Turkey

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In Turkish law, the classification between employees and independent contractors is governed by the Turkish Labor Law No. 4857, which uses factors such as the level of control, nature of work, and degree of independence to determine the status. Employees are under significant control by their employers regarding work schedules and task execution, whereas independent contractors operate with greater autonomy, often handling specialized tasks and maintaining the ability to work for multiple clients.

For independent contractors, it's crucial to structure contracts carefully to avoid misclassification, clearly defining scope of work, payment terms, contract duration, and confidentiality clauses. Negotiation practices should involve setting clear expectations, understanding market rates, and maintaining flexibility to achieve mutually beneficial agreements.

Key industries in Turkey utilizing independent contractors include IT, creative industries, and professional services. Intellectual property rights, especially concerning the creation of works, typically remain with the creator unless explicitly transferred through contractual agreements. Freelancers must also navigate specific tax obligations and can opt into social security or private health insurance to secure benefits typically provided to employees.

Overall, freelancing in Turkey offers flexibility and autonomy but requires careful legal and financial planning to ensure compliance and protection of rights.

Health & Safety in Turkey

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Occupational Health and Safety in Turkey

Turkey's occupational health and safety regulations are governed by Law No. 6331, aligning with European Union standards to ensure safe and healthy work environments across all sectors. Employers are responsible for identifying hazards, conducting risk assessments, providing safe equipment, and ensuring employee training. They must also employ safety specialists in hazardous environments and establish emergency protocols.

Employees have the right to a safe workplace, receive safety training, and can refuse unsafe work. They must use safety equipment correctly and report hazards.

Special considerations apply to industries like construction and chemical handling, requiring stricter safety measures and additional regulations. The Ministry of Family, Labor, and Social Services enforces these regulations through inspections and can impose fines or criminal charges for non-compliance.

Employers must also conduct regular health surveillance, provide emergency preparedness, and ensure workplace inspections are carried out to maintain safety standards. Following workplace accidents, investigations are conducted to prevent recurrence, and injured workers are entitled to compensation through the Social Security Institution (SGK).

Dispute Resolution in Turkey

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Labor courts in Turkey, including Individual Labor Courts, Labor Chambers of the Court of Appeals, and Labor Chambers of the Supreme Court of Appeals, handle disputes related to employment contracts and workplace regulations. The legal process involves filing a lawsuit, optional conciliation, hearings, decisions, and appeals. Arbitration serves as an alternative dispute resolution method, especially for issues stemming from collective labor agreements.

Compliance audits and inspections in Turkey are conducted by various ministries to ensure adherence to labor, tax, environmental, and industry-specific regulations. These inspections involve document reviews, on-site checks, and follow-up reports, with non-compliance potentially leading to fines, restrictions, or criminal charges.

Reporting mechanisms for violations include internal channels and external government agencies, with current whistleblower protections being seen as inadequate. Turkey has ratified several International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions influencing its labor laws, such as those concerning forced labor, child labor, and discrimination. Compliance with these conventions is monitored by the ILO and local entities, with ongoing challenges in fully implementing international labor standards.

Cultural Considerations in Turkey

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Effective communication in Turkish business environments involves understanding directness, formality, and non-verbal cues. Turkish communication is typically direct and concise, respecting hierarchy and formality, especially when addressing superiors. Non-verbal communication, such as eye contact and gestures, plays a crucial role, with nuances that require careful interpretation to maintain respect and attentiveness.

Negotiation in Turkey combines distributive and relational bargaining, emphasizing both individual gains and long-term relationships. Strategies include making bold initial offers and paying close attention to non-verbal cues to understand the true positions of negotiating parties. Building trust and relationships is essential, often making negotiations longer but aimed at mutually beneficial outcomes.

Turkish business culture is also characterized by hierarchical structures, where respect for authority and collectivism are prominent. Decision-making tends to be centralized, and while this can slow processes, it ensures consistency and control. Leadership styles often blend authority with a consultative approach, fostering teamwork within the hierarchical framework.

Modern Turkish businesses are gradually adopting flatter organizational structures to remain agile and innovative, particularly influenced by globalization and new workforce generations who value collaboration and autonomy.

Understanding Turkish statutory holidays and cultural observances is crucial for planning and respectful interaction in business settings. Major holidays impact business operations significantly, with closures or reduced hours common during periods like Ramadan Bayram and Republic Day.

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