Turkey: The Court of Appeals Changed its Precedents on the Issue of 6-Months' Seniority for Job Security

In principle, the termination of an employment agreement is considered to be a last resort in labor relations in Turkey, where employers are obliged to make a sincere effort not to terminate the employment agreements of their long-term employees. This rule is called the "ultima ratio" (literally, "final argument" or "last resort") principle and governs the entirety of Turkish labor law. Therefore, the termination of an employment agreement has become an issue that is widely regulated and strictly controlled by the legislator under the Labor Law No. 4857 ("Labor Law").

Article 18 and et seq. encompass the job security provisions of the Labor Law, regulating the fundamental rules for a valid termination, and thus are at the forefront of securing the employee-protective approach adopted under the Labor Law. The job security provisions provide legal protection to employees from arbitrary termination that is unilaterally initiated and executed by employers. As to the job security provisions, employers are required to strictly follow the termination procedures set forth under the said articles, and if they fail to do so, employees will be entitled to bring such termination actions to the courts for judicial review, and they will be allowed to petition the court for the invalidation/annulment of the termination decision and their reinstatement to their job positions as well. However, not all employees are entitled to benefit from these expansive job security provisions. Only employees whose specific qualifications are included and stipulated under the Labor Law enjoy the protection of the job security provisions. To that end, only those employers who employ at least thirty (30) employees are obliged to provide a valid reason/basis for terminating an employee who has worked for the employer under an indefinite-term employment contract for at least six (6) months. The prerequisite of a minimum tenure of six months before the "valid reason" clause for termination kicks in has recently become a hotly debated topic, as employers have started to terminate the employment contracts of their employees one day before the date on which the employee would have reached six months of seniority, for the obvious purpose of avoiding the job security provisions of the Labor Law.

The Court of Appeals has long adopted a skeptical approach to this type of behavior on the part of employers and has displayed an antagonistic attitude against employers on this matter. The Court of Appeals has stated in numerous decisions that this specific method of termination with such particular (not to say, exquisite) timing is contrary to the fundamental principle of good faith, and that an employee who is fired in this manner should be deemed to have attained six months of seniority, which would therefore make him/her a beneficiary of the job security provisions, and allow him/her to take advantage of those provisions, by operation of law. (See, for example, the 9th Chamber of the Court of Appeals decision dated 01.04.2013 and numbered 2013/35856 E. and 2013/10606 K.; 9th Chamber of the Court of Appeals, decision dated 14.02.2011 and numbered 2011/474 E. and 2011/2785 K.)

The Court of Appeals explained in its ratio decidendi that it is of utmost importance to ensure the safeguarding of employees from malicious and bad-faith termination methods, even if they are not necessarily used for the purpose of circumventing the law, that may be utilized or implemented by the employers.

However, the 9th Chamber of the Court of Appeals, in its more recent decision of November 09, 2017 (2016/28920 E. and 2017/17860 K.), seems to have modified its prior decisions, which may therefore lead to an overturning of its precedents on this controversial issue. In this recent case, the court did not presume in advance that the employer who terminated its employee's employment contract one day before the day on which the employee would have completed six months on the job had violated the principle of good faith. On the contrary, the court appeared to demand to see some probative evidence, submitted by the employee, demonstrating that the employer had, in fact, maliciously terminated the employment contract, in order to rule in favor of the employee.

Unless this case was a singular decision or one-off exception, one may argue that, in light of this decision, not all terminations occurring just before the date on which employees would have attained six months of tenure on the job will be deemed as malicious. Rather, this decision seems to indicate that the rationale behind each dismissal should be closely scrutinized, in order to ensure that an employer's actual objective is not to avoid being subject to the job security provisions of the Labor Law. If the court is satisfied that the termination of the employment contract was carried out in good faith and not for the purpose of sidestepping the applicability of the job security provisions, this decision implies that the employer should be allowed to terminate the employment contracts of its employees, without being subject to the strict procedures set forth under the Labor Law.

Consequently, the 9th Chamber of the Court of Appeal's decision in the above-mentioned case may lead to an increasingly tolerant judicial perspective in favor of employers in termination cases, such that employers may rightfully and legally terminate their employees' employment contracts, even if the termination date is only one or two days before the date on which the dismissed employee would have reached six months of seniority on the job.

This article was first published in Legal Insights Quarterly by ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law in March 2018. A link to the full Legal Insight Quarterly may be found here.

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.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Öncel, Aydın & Uygun Attorney Partnership
Kolcuoglu Demirkan Kocakli Attorneys at Law
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”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Öncel, Aydın & Uygun Attorney Partnership
Kolcuoglu Demirkan Kocakli Attorneys at Law
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

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 or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq 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 of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

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