HRsolution » COUNTRIES » Turkey

Overview of Turkey

Turkey lies as the connecting country between Europe and the middle East. The city Istanbul spans two continents – Europe and Asia. It is also often mistaken for the capital of Turkey. However, that title belong to Ankara. The official language is Turkish but as many as 30 minority languages are spoken in the country. The population of Turkey is 82 million. Turkey is home to 2 of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Despite political unrest, Turkey’s economy is growing.

In Turkey, business is a serious matter and should be treated as such. Meetings are important and while the foreign party is expected to be on time, do not expect the Turks to be punctual. The first meeting is usually used to get to know one another and small talk is expected. Many meetings may be necessary before an agreement is reached. One also only meets the key players after several meetings with less senior members. Turkish society is highly influenced around the Islamic religion, so ensure meetings are scheduled around prayer times. Negotiations with Turkish people may take longer than one is used to but patience is necessary. Turkish people do not like to be rushed and if done so, it will have the opposite effect.

Currency of Turkey

  • Turkish Lira

Health Insurance and the Social Security system of Turkey

Universal Healthcare was introduced to Turkey in 2003 and is known as Universal Health Insurance Genel Sağlık Sigortası. It is funded by a tax on employers.

The following treatments are covered by healthcare:

  • Work accidents and vocational illnesses

  • Emergencies

  • Infectious diseases

  • Preventive health services (drug and alcohol abuse)

  • Childbirth

  • Extraordinary events (injuries from war and natural disasters)

  • Fertility treatment for women younger than 39

  • Cosmetic surgery deemed medically necessary

In regards to dental care, most patients rely on private dental service and need to cover the costs themselves. Prescription drugs also need to be covered partially by the patient.

Private healthcare is also available and often used due to shorte waiting lines and higher quality service.

Employer cost of Turkey

The cost for an employer to hire someone in Turkey is a plus of 22.50% to the gross salary.

Salary and bonuses of Turkey

Regular employees are paid once a month.

Commissions, incentives, and bonuses are variable and will be agreed upon directly with the employer.

Public Holidays in Turkey

  • January 1st – New Year’s Day
  • April 23rd – National Sovereignty and Children’s Day
  • May 1st – Labour and Solidarity Day
  • May 19th – Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day
  • July 15th – Democracy and National Unity Day
  • August 30th – Victory Day
  • October 29th – Republic Day
  • After the end of the Islamic month Ramadan – Ramadan Feast (religious holiday for 3 days)
  • Begins on the tenth day of the Islamic month Dhu’l-Hijjah – Sacrifice Feast (religious holiday for 4 days)

Working hours in Turkey

Business hours in Turkey are from 8:30am till 17:00pm. However, in spite of the law, there is no standard work week in Turkey.

A regular work week consists of 45 hours for a corporate employee.

Anything worked over 45 hours is considered overtime and is paid with 150% of a regular salary. An employee can decide to take the equivalent time off (1.5 hours for every extra hour worked) within 6 months of the overtime worked.

Vacation in Turkey

Vacation days depend on seniority and years of service. In the first 5 years, one receives 14 days of vacation. Between 6 and 14 years, one receives 20 days. If one has been with the company for more than 15 years, one receives 26 days. If the employee is over 50, he/she automatically receives 20 days of vacation.

Sick Leave in Turkey

All employees are entitled to a maximum of one week apid sick leave after a confirmative medical report. Sick leave can be extended past the one week however it is then granted on an unpaid basis. If sick leave extends past 6 weeks, an employer has the right to terminate the employee using notice periods based on the length of employment of the employee:

  • Less than 6 weeks – 2 weeks
  • Between 6 weeks and 18 weeks – 4 weeks
  • Between 18 weeks and 36 weeks – 6 weeks
  • More than 3 years – 8 weeks

Termination/Severance in Turkey

When terminating an employee in Turkey, one has to have a just cause when doing so. Turkish courts tend to favour employees so ensure the cause is formulated correctly when terminating employees. A notice period must be observed when terminating an employee. In the first 6 months, the notice period is 2 weeks. From 6 to 18 months, its 4 weeks. From 18 to 36 months its 6 weeks. Over 36 months is 8 weeks. An employee has the right to job search 2 hours a day after receiving a termination. One month wage per working year is paid as severance payment.