Social Security in Turkey

Whether you are a resident in Turkey or working in Turkey, you may be interested in social security in Turkey. In this blog post, we will give all the details regarding how social security in Turkey works and what benefits are there for people who are eligible to enrol in the services. The Ministry of Family, Labour and Social Services is the responsible board for organising all the employment, social security and welfare benefits in Turkey. To go on their website click here : http://e.sgk.gov.tr/.

Any potential participants of the social security in Turkey need to enrol with the Turkish Social Security Fund (Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu / SGK). If you are an old-timer in Turkey you may know the institution as SSK however this was changed to SGK after the merger of the Self-Employment Organisation and the Civil Servant Organization in Turkey making the entire process work under one roof. To go on the website of SGK, click here. http://e.sgk.gov.tr/

If you are eligible to enroll in social security in Turkey, you will get access to low-cost health service as well as other benefits depending on your circumstance. However please be aware that there will be different standards throughout Turkey, usually the service standards are worse in Eastern parts of Turkey when compared to big cities like Istanbul and Antalya. However Turkish government will be rectifying this problem with huge investments poured into the health industry in Turkey. 

Contributions For Social Security In Turkey

If you are working in Turkey you are legally obligated to pay social security premiums in Turkey. For employees part of their pre-tax income is dedicated and automatically paid to the social security services in Turkey. There is also an obligation for employers to pay a percentage of their employees salary to the system as well. The percentages that need to be contributed to the system depends on the risk level of the job a person is involved in.  

Generally, an employee’s contribution is 15 per cent from their pre-taxed salary and the employer contributes about 21.5 per cent of the employee’s salary. Please be aware that if your employer has been paying your contribution on time, the percentage for the employer goes down to 17.5 per cent making the total go down to 32.5 per cent from 37.5 per cent. 

If you are a contributor to one of the social security systems in your own country, you are not required to contribute to the Turkish system while you are working in Turkey. However you need to make sure there is a bilateral agreement regarding social security access between Turkey and your home country to access free health services as well as welfare services. 

All the social security contributions in Turkey goes into a one money pool where they get allocated to different welfare and social security services accordingly. Please find the allocation percentages in the table blow. 

Type Of ContributionEmployer PercentageEmployee PercentageTotal Paid
Short-term social security2%0%2%
Disability, death and old age11%9%20%
Health Insurance7.5%5%12.5%
Unemployment2%1%3%
Toal 22.5%15%37.5%
  • If you are a contributor to the system, your spouse and your children under the age 18 will also gain access to the free health services in Turkey as well as work injuries and pregnancy care. 
  • If you are unemployed and looking to gain access to the social services in Turkey, you are required to pay a monthly premium of 53 Turkish Liras to be able to get free health care in Turkey. 
  • If you are a student you are not required to pay any fees to have access to the health services in Turkey and you can benefit until the age of 25. 
  • If you are disabled unfortunately foreigners are not eligible to get disability benefits in Turkey. However, to become a Turkish citizen through buying property in Turkey, contact us and our dedicated team will be more than willing to help you. 

Universal Health Insurance In Turkey 

As of February 2012, Universal Health Insurance is implemented in Turkey for foreigners who have a residency in Turkey or who have been living in Turkey for at least one year. You will only be subject to make payments to the Universal Health Insurance in Turkey if you are not contributing to health insurance in your own country. Otherwise, it is compulsory to make monthly payments of approximately 200 liras to government bank accounts. However, for some foreigners or particular countries, this is only voluntary and they will not be subject to paying fines in the case of not paying the monthly 200 lira premiums. 

To determine whether you are required to contribute to the Universal Health Insurance in Turkey, call your embassy in Turkey and tell them your current immigration status as well as the fact that you have no contributions to any social service in your own country and they should be able to tell if you have a voluntary status or not. Please take these obligations seriously as you will have to pay fines if you are not compliant with the laws. 

Yes all employees in Turkey must contribute to the social security in Turkey unless they are contributing in their home country.

You can get a permanent residency in Turkey by finding work or buying property in Turkey.

If you have a job or have been contributing to the social security system in Turkey, you and your family will get free healthcare in Turkey.

Yes the Turkish healthcare industry is great. However standards may vary from region to region.

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