Turkish employment contracts

Your rights and responsibilities

Employment contracts are called “Service Contracts“ in Turkey, and if you are to be employed for longer than a year, your contract should be in writing.

The Turkish Labor Code (TLC) gives an employer a 2 month probation period (during which he may terminate you without penalty) before requiring him to present you with a contract. Likewise, you are free to leave your employer without penalty or advance notice during the probation period.

Contracts should specify your salary, benefits, vacation time and working hours. Any fringe benefits will be listed in your contract as well. These may include travel costs if you commute to work. Contracts also specify your employer´s notice requirements.

Find a lawyer specializing in the TLC to review the terms of your contract before you sign. This final check will ensure that you have not missed a critical component and that all the terms of your employment have been arranged in accordance with Turkish labor laws.

Your contract will also specify severance procedures and benefits. Take careful note of these before you sign, and make sure your lawyer reviews them as well.

A note on contracts in Turkey

As you might guess, you will not receive a contract for most part-time and even some teaching work in Turkey. In these instances, it is especially important that you talk to your employer about the exact terms of your employment as soon as you agree to the job. Do not start working until you are sure that you and your employer have a clear understanding of the arrangements. Make sure that you are paid on time (if you work in a bar or a restaurant, try and arrange to be paid in cash at the end of each shift).

If your employer repeatedly delays pay or is making unfair demands, leave and don´t look back. In the event that you´re not sure whether you are being treated fairly by an employer, go with your gut feeling.

Remember that if you are working illegally, you will not have any protection under the Turkish Labor Code, so it´s up to you to look after yourself.

Further reading

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