Turkey: Mandatory Mediation In Labor Disputes

Last Updated: 22 September 2017
Article by Alper Uzun

The Reason Behind the Legislation

Since 1950, when the 5521 numbered Code of the Labor Courts had entered into force, the population in Turkey has increased rapidly, business life has changed and developed and, accordingly, the number of labor law disputes and types have increased. During this period of time, significant amendments have been made in the core legislation and regulations on the judicial principles of the civil courts. However, the legislation regulating the jurisdiction before the Labor Courts has not been within the scope of these amendments.

In Turkey, the judicial authorities failed to cope with labor law disputes within the desired period of time within which very high numbers in line with the high population and high numbers of employees were recorded. The disputes arising from the labor law take an important place in the agenda of the jurisdiction. Approximately 15% of legal disputes before the first instance courts, and approximately 30% of the legal disputes before the Supreme Court are labor law originated.

In recent years, alternative dispute resolution methods have arisen and are preferred by involved parties. Mediation, as a leading dispute resolution form, has been a successful method since the practice of the same in Turkey, and it serves the parties in reaching an amicable settlement without the need of resorting to the judicial authorities. Statistics show that 89% of the civil disputes brought to the mediators are labor law originated and approximately 93% of these disputes are concluded with settlements. In general, 95% of the labor disputes brought to mediation are concluded through negotiations that lasted for one day or less.

Although some are of the opinion that bringing monetary limits for the disputes or negotiation obligations may decrease the workload of the courts, the legislator has prepared the Draft Law on Labor Courts ("Draft Law") in order to reduce the amount of workload of the labor courts, and the amount of the labor law disputes brought before the judicial authorities. In addition, relevant legislation has been amended, accordingly.

Planned Amendments

The new legislation mandates application to mediate as a pre-condition before filing a lawsuit, especially in some labor law disputes. Since mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method, the parties are not obliged to agree once they apply to the mediator, and they have the right to claim rights before the court should they fail to reach an agreement before the mediator.

However, it has been set forth in the Draft Law that the non-participating party of the mediation without a valid excuse shall be obliged to pay all of the litigation expenses even, if the judgment is rendered in favor of the absent party. It has been also stipulated that non-attendance and relevant issues shall be addressed by the mediator in the official report.

As per Draft Law, as a pre-condition to file a lawsuit, employees and employers are required to apply for a mandatory mediation before filing a lawsuit for any receivables (excluding disputes relating to material or immaterial indemnity claims arising from a disability due to work accidents and recourse actions regarding the same) as well as re-employment lawsuits. Such claims should have arisen due to employment related matters.

As well, the Draft Law amends Articles 20 and 21 of the Labor Law, which are regarded as "labor protection," stipulating that the parties are required to apply for mediation as a pre-condition before filing a lawsuit. It has been also set forth that the parties may appeal the judgment in the court proceedings, and the judgment to be rendered by the Court of Appeal shall be final and binding.

In addition, the Draft Law amends the form of the judgment for re-employment lawsuits in which the compensation covering the period the employee has not worked during the lawsuit is rendered on a monthly basis on the grounds that it has created the need to bring an additional lawsuit to calculate the amount corresponding to the subject period. In this respect, the Draft Law provides that the compensation covering the subject period shall be rendered monetarily.

Mediators who would like to mediate in this mandatory process should register with the Registrar of Justice Commission, indicating their expertise. The mediators are required to conclude the application within three weeks, and may extend this period for one week.

In the Draft Law, it is explicitly stated that the disputes to be heard before the labor courts would be subject to simplified trial procedure, and the procedure regarding the right to appeal is regulated in line with Law on Civil Procedure No. 6100. Additionally, along with the provisions stipulated in the Labor Law, the time bar shall be five years for claims regarding severance and notice payments, annual leave payments, compensation of bad faith, and the termination of contract that breaches the principle of equality.

The Draft Law envisages various amendments on Law on Mediation in Civil Disputes No. 6325, as well. In the Draft Law, particularly, an amendment that would render the mediator more active in settlements has been envisaged. In this respect, it is stipulated that in a dispute to be brought before the mediator, the mediator would be able to "propose a solution in cases where the parties fail to reach an amicable solution." If the parties come to an agreement, the annotation on the enforceability of the agreement can be obtained from the civil court of peace where the mediator has been registered. Additionally, the Draft Law sets forth that the agreement that has been signed by parties, their lawyers and the mediator has the power of verdict without seeking an annotation, and that the agreed issues cannot be challenged before the courts.


The growth in the population, development and changes in business life causes new problems. There are various reasons that provoke disputes among employees and employers. The labor law disputes have an enormous share in Turkey's legal agenda, and they require serious efforts.

The alternative dispute resolution methods provide significant solutions without the need to resort to the judicial authorities in developing societies and legal orders. Mediation is among these methods.

The mediation method that has been applied in Turkey enables resolution of a high number of disputes that are mainly based on labor law via an agreement.

For this reason, the legislator has prepared the Draft Law that will oblige parties to apply to mediation prior to applying to the courts for debts stemming from labor relations, and core subjects, such as re-employment. The regulative works have been ongoing to improve the efficiency and role of mediation in the resolution of disputes in Turkey. The Draft Law is currently on the agenda of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

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
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 you may opt out by clicking here

    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.

    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.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    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.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions