Work In Turkey As A Foreigner

Over the last 10 years, the amount of work available for foreigners have been increasing. In 2020 80.000 work permits will be issued by the government. If you are looking to work in Turkey read this post carefully to learn all the details and ways you can start work in Turkey. 

Please note that if you are looking to work in Turkey as a foreigner, you will need a work permit. We strongly recommend not to work illegally in Turkey as it will have severe consequences if you are caught. 

If you are looking to find work and buy property in Antalya, click here.

Work Permit In Turkey 

All foreign individuals who want to work in Turkey, are required to obtain a work permit before starting work in Turkey. It is possible to apply for a work permit in your home country or when you are in Turkey. It is illegal for an employer to hire a foreign worker who does not have a work permit. Otherwise, in addition to the deportation of the foreigner, administrative fines are imposed on employers and foreign workers without a work permit.

Foreigners who want to work in Turkey should receive a work permit before starting work. Applications must be made through a company / business organization. It is not possible for a foreigner to apply for a work permit on his own, without the employer and the specific job in which he has been accepted. A foreigner does not have the right to work independently of a particular job, and there is no general work permit that allows him to continue to protect this right.

If you want to get work permits in Turkey by finding a job in a company the position of the work has great importance.There is a different evaluation process for each position, and expectations and competencies vary for each position. Here, it should be considered that it is more appropriate for a foreigner to do this task, not a Turk, for the position to be applied for. Otherwise, your application may result in negative results, so these choices must be made correctly and examined correctly before the application phase. For example; If the person is an engineer, he is expected to certify his competence and provide reference.

Prohibited Occupations For Foreigners in Turkey

Foreigners who wish to work in Turkey require a work permit which can be acquired either dependently with the employer or independently depending on the circumstance. However there are restrictions on certain positions and professions for foreigners who wish to work in Turkey.

The following professions can only be performed by Turkish citizens and prohibited to foreigners;

  • Dentistry (dentist, dental surgery)
  • Nursing (midwife, nurse)
  • Pharmacist
  • Veterinary
  • Managing director in private health institutions
  • Lawyer (Judge, public prosecutor)
  • Notary
  • Security staff
  • Exportation of fish, abalone, mussel, sponge, pearl, coral
  • Diving, maritime pilotage, and captainship, engineering and mariner on ships, within the territorial waters
  • Customs brokerage
  • Tourist guiding.

If you are a member of one of these professions you can go through citizenship by investment programme and become a Turkish citizen by purchasing a property over $250,000 through Kingsman Estates. Contact us and our dedicated team at our investment centre will be more than willing to help. 

How To Find Work In Turkey?

Foreigners who wish to find jobs in Turkey mostly start their process before arriving in Turkey. There are several websites where job opportunities are listed for those who wish to work in Turkey. 

Long Term Work In Turkey

Here are some websites suggestions for your Turkish job hunt;

Short Term Seasonal Work In Turkey

There are plenty of short term seasonal work opportunities in Turkey especially in tourism, caretaker and aupair sectors. 

Here are the list of websites where you might find this sort of work in Turkey;

Alternatively you may sign up to a temporary job website like where you will get constant notifications regarding the opportunities that might interest you. 

Finding Teaching Work In Turkey

Teaching jobs are very popular among the expat community who wish to find work in Turkey. As Turkey becomes more and more connected to the world, the demand for language teachers are on demand. You can either find teaching jobs for English qualifications such as IELTS and TOFEL. 

Although some small courses might not be looking for a fully qualified English teacher, getting a TEFL course certificate will drastically improve your chances of securing the job. 

You may find TEFL related work  in Turkey using the following sites:

Alternatively you can individually contact schools and ask for work. 

Language Requirements For Work In Turkey

The level of English in the general population in Turkey is rather low. Some international companies in Istanbul or Ankara might have an English speaking office environment but you should definitely make some effort to learn a basic level of Turkish. The more you know, the easier your day to day life will be. Having a certain level of Turkish under your belt will massively improve the chances of you securing the job. 

If you are looking to find English teaching jobs, a very basic level of Turkish will suffice. Regardless of your work environment, if you are looking to live in Turkey, you will need to fill out official documents like taxes so we strongly recommend learning Turkish.  

Working Hours And Holidays In Turkey

Working Hours

If you have a full-time contract in Turkey, the maximum period of work per week is 45 hours in Turkey. If an individual is working longer than 45 hours per week they need to be paid extra for the supplementary hours of their work. 

For payments regarding supplementary hours, there is a different method of payment. You will receive %50 more than your normal working hours. The total supplementary hours cannot exceed 270 hours per year. 


Every employee will receive 8 days of religious holidays per year in Turkey regardless of their years of work in their respective company. Your right to paid annual leave will be granted after working for the company for a year. 

Once you have completed a year you will be eligible for a 14 day paid leave and it will stay 14 days until you have completed 5 years of service. After 5 years it will progressively increase to 26 days a year once you have reached 15 years of service to the company. 

Working Illegally in Turkey 

Under no circumstance accept any work that is not official in Turkey. WIthout a donut you will see plenty of illegal unregistered workers in cafes, bars and offices in Turkey but the consequences of working illegally in Turkey are not worth the risk. 

Be aware that if you are working illegally in Turkey, you will not be insured and you will not have access to health services in Turkey unless you pay a premium.

Government officials regularly visit businesses that have a high chance of employing foreigners to make sure all the paperwork is in order. If you get caught working illegally in Turkey you will be deported and possibly fined. Not to mention that your employer will also be fined severely. 

Once you have been deported your immigration status with Turkey will be damaged and you may not be allowed to visit Turkey ever again. This situation may also affect your future immigration applications with other countries as well.

Wages In Turkey

Wages in Turkey are extremely low when compared to European countries like the UK. For 2021 the net minimum wage is 2800 lira. However wages differ greatly depending on the location of the work as well as your position in the company. 

Wages in big cities like Istanbul and Ankara are generally higher due to the higher cost of living when compared to the Midlands or Eastern part of Turkey. 

Job TItleSalary 
Doctors7000-100.000 lira per month
Engineer3000-20.000 lira per month
Architects 3000-70.000 lira per month
Pilots25.000-50.000 lira per month
Dentists5000-70.000 per month
Lawyers3500-10.000 lira per month
Nurses3000-5000 lira per month
Professors 5000-10000 lira per month
Bankers3000-20.000 lira per month
Pharmacists 4000-30.000 lira per month
Taxi Drivers3000-5000 lira per month
Teachers 4000-7000 lira per month
Phycologist 10.000-20.000 lira per month
Sales Director7000-10000 lira per month

How A Job Contract Is Terminated In Turkey?

If you would like to terminate your job contact with an employer you must give notice of 4 weeks in Turkey regarding your intentions of quitting the job. An employee might terminate the contract due to several reasons such as health, job not being what was agreed on, personal issues. An employer might on the other hand also fire an employee if the job requirements are not met. Please be aware that the employer and the employee can agree to terminate the contract without activating the clauses in the contract. Both sides need to inform each other regarding terminating the contract. 

Yes foreigners can find work in Turkey mostly in teaching and tourism related jobs.

Getting a job in Turkey as a foreigner is not a simple task. But with the right information and patience you can do it. 

You can read our blog and use the job websites listed, you may also apply to companies directly. 

You should really be aiming for around 7000-8000 lira to live comfortably. The minimum wage is 2800 lira as of 2021. 

Yes you can live and work in Turkey. Once you have found a job that offers a work permit, you can apply to live and work in Turkey.

The minimum wage is 2800 lira as of 2021. 

Some jobs might allow you to work in Turkey without speaking Turkish but your daily life will be incredibly hard if you do not understand basic Turkish. 


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