Turkey: Termination Of An Employment Contract And Employee Reinstatement Mechanism

Last Updated: 25 July 2012
Article by Ayça Bayburan

Termination of employees, employee reinstatement claims and procedure under Turkish Labor Law will be summarized in this brief information note.

In accordance with the Labor Code No.4857, the employment contracts can be terminated by employers with two methods:

Rightful (Just) Termination:

Rightful (or just) termination is defined at Article 25 of the Labor Code and in this type of termination; employer may terminate the employment contract without any necessity for prior notification and without making any notification compensation payments.

The following events and issues are stated as rightful grounds for termination: health reasons, sexual harassment by an employee to another one, abuse of the employer's trust, theft, causing the disclosure of confidential and professional secrets of the employer, acts that are inconsistent with truthfulness and loyalty, acts that are immoral or inconformity with good will or similar contesting reasons, to be taken into police custody or being arrested for a period of time causing absence that is higher than the notification period stated in the relevant article of the Labor Code.

The most important issue for the rightful termination by the employer is the existence of the factual ground for such termination. Unless such ground is solid and easily provable, it may be inevitable that the termination will be deemed invalid by the Courts following the applications of terminated employees.

Termination Based on Justifiable Cause:

According to Article 18 of Labor Code, termination based on justifiable grounds is immediate termination of employee's contract by the employer by payment of severance and notification compensation or by providing timely notification.

A justifiable cause is deemed necessary for terminating an employee that is working with an undefined term of contract for at least 6 months at such workplace that employs more than 30 employees. According to Article 18 of the Code, the employer shall ground the termination of an employee to a justifiable cause incurring either of the sufficiency of the employee or his/her acts or the necessities of the work or the workplace.

The justifiable causes could be sampled as; lack of performance level compared to other employees, lack of efficiency, low performance, non-conformity with skills required, frequent sickness, lack of professional development, general acts that cause losses to the employer or risk of such losses that may be caused, incompatibility with other employees, having personal relations with other employees having negative effect to the work environment, loss of business or sales, decrease in demand or orders, lack of energy sources, loss of foreign markets, economic crisis experienced in the country, application of new methodologies in the workplace, downsizing at the workplace, termination of departments and/or elimination of positions.

If termination based on justifiable cause is executed, the grounding reasons shall be notified to the employee expressly. Even in such case, the terminated employee may still file for a reinstatement case against the company. Burdens of proof for the justifiable causes are on the employer.

Reinstatement Mechanism:

In accordance with the provisions of the employment security in the Labor Code, an employee could file for a reinstatement litigation in order to be re-appointed following his/her termination by the employer only if the employee is working for that employer for at least six months, if the employment contract is for an undesignated period (term), if the workplace employs more than thirty employees, and if the employee is not an employer representative (meaning that the employee shall not be in a high level position where he/she has authority to represent the employer especially in hiring and firing employees).

According to Article 20 of Labor Code, the employee whose employment contract is terminated may file for a reinstatement case at labor courts within one month starting from the notice of termination claiming that he/she is terminated without cause or the cause provided is unjustifiable.

The payment of compensation to the employee at the time of termination is irrelevant for filing such case. Generally the reinstatement cases are resolved in favor of the employees in courts since the burden of proof for the justifiable or rightful cause for termination is on employers.

As an outcome of a reinstatement decision resolved by the Courts, the employer shall re-hire the employee back to his/her position within thirty days, in addition the employer is liable to pay to the employee four (4) months of gross salary that is for being out of work during litigation. Please note the below compensations that are applicable in cases where the employer does not reinstate the employee following the Court decision.

Compensations in Cases of Termination:

Notification Compensation: As noted in Article 17 of Labor Code, the party who fails to abide by the prior notification periods designated by the law for termination is liable to pay compensation in the amount of the gross salary for that period of time as noted below:

If the employment is;

  • for less than six (6) months, compensation for two (2) weeks;
  • between six (6) and eighteen (18) months, compensation for four (4) weeks;
  • between eighteen (18) months and three (3) years, compensation for six (6) weeks;
  • for over three (3) years, compensation for eight weeks.

Severance Compensation: An employee who worked for more than one year for the employer becomes eligible for compensation of severance in case of termination. The severance compensation is calculated as thirty (30) days of salary payment per each year of work however there is a legal ceiling (cap) that applies as a highest limit which is TRY 2.427,04. (Such amount of legal ceiling is applicable until June 30, 2010 and renewed every year).

Annual Paid Leave: The employees become eligible for annual paid leave days as listed below. In case of termination the annual paid leave days that are not consumed by the employee during his/her work needs to be compensated based on gross salary.

The annual paid leave is;

  • fourteen (14) days for work between one (1) to five (5) years;
  • twenty (20) days for work between five (5) to fifteen (15) years;
  • twenty six (26) days for work more than fifteen (15) years.

Compensation for Bad Faith: If proven by the employee that the employer executed termination in bad faith, the employee may be awarded additional bad faith compensation by Labor Courts. Bad faith compensation is triple (3) the amount of notification compensations to be applied to such employee and are enforced in most cases of reinstatement claims.

Other Rights of the Employee: At termination, the employee shall also be paid the unpaid salaries, overtime payments, bonuses or any other accrued payments relevant for the employment period.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.