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Work in Turkey. How to work and earn income in Turkey?

Many of our subscribers ask us about how to work and earn money in Turkey. Today we will tell you about it in detail. Stay tuned!

Turkey is famous for its comfortable climate, inexpensive real estate, low prices, and very democratic legislation on migration policy. Dozens of other advantages attract many migrants here, even from very prosperous countries.

This is the reason why many foreigners are interested in working in Turkey, starting a business, or generating income here.  Most of them get a residence permit and wonder: "What's next?"

You need to know that even after you have received a RESIDENCE PERMIT, you do not have the right to work in Turkey.

So, how can you make a safe and legal living in Turkey?

Option #1

Turkey is a haven for freelancers. If your professional background or skills allow you to provide remote services and receive income on a bank account in the country of your residence, the Turkish authorities have no objections. That is why specialists, writers, designers, language teachers and dozens of other area professionals who mainly work with a personal computer and Skype feel quite comfortable in the Turkish jurisdiction, like in any other state of the world. The fast-speed Internet, easy cash withdrawal, and pleasant spending will be at your fingertips.

Option #2

Get a job after receiving official permission (Çalışma İzini) from the Turkish authorities. The subtlety is that in most cases this permit is a responsibility of the employer, rather than of the employee.

Only in the case of unique professions or skills can you apply for an employer-independent work permit that will give you the right to work in any organization according to your profile. However, if you are not a nuclear physicist with extensive experience, this track will not work for you.

Bear in mind that according to Turkish laws the official salary of a foreign specialist should be at least 1.5 times higher than the minimum wage. This also entails an increase in contributions to SGK (Sosyal Güvenlik Kurumu), the State Social Security Fund.

This is the reason why many small firms and organizations in Turkey cannot officially employ a foreigner.

When facing an acute shortage of manpower in tourist peak seasons, many hotels, tour operators, and other firms are massively issuing work permits for foreigners. As a rule, they need low-skilled personnel, such as animators, house cleaners, guest relations, sellers, etc.

Keep in mind that a work permit, except for outstanding cases of unique specialists in Turkey, is issued for employment in a selective position to a particular employer. You cannot just move to a hotel across the street – all permits will have to be processed anew, and you need to wait again.

The average salary in the tourism sector for unskilled staff is around $400 per month.

Illegal work in Turkey can get you into much trouble. At a minimum, you may not receive your promised salary in full, but there will be no one to complain. At a maximum, a fine, deportation and a ban on entry into the Republic of Turkey for several years. The Turkish authorities carry out unannounced inspections at the offices of firms on a regular basis

Option #3

Open a company or become an individual entrepreneur. This is a great opportunity to accomplish your aspirations and plans. However, even as an individual entrepreneur or owner of the company you cannot officially work in it. You may own and control a company, but you are not allowed to work in it in any position.

Try to remember the “Five Turks” rule: you must first employ 5 Turkish citizens, and only then, you can apply for a work permit for yourself.

By the way, according to the new law on citizenship (you may get the reference HERE), if you employ 50 Turkish citizens, you will be entitled to get the Citizenship of the Turkish Republic right away.

Here are a few tips for opening a business in Turkey. Before you proceed, try to immerse into the local life, learn the language, and do not focus on business aimed at the immigrants. It may take you several years before you define the real demand on the Turkish market, and only this approach can bring your profit. Please, do not open restaurants of the Russian cuisine: there have been dozens of enthusiasts who stepped out of business!

As for illegal business, keep in mind that the Turkish authorities monitor all the promotion activities, even in social networks.  Everyone who provides illegal services at home, whether it is a manicure, pedicure, eyelash extensions, massage, etc. is at risk of a sudden inspection. Possible consequences are a fine, deportation and a ban on entry into the Republic of Turkey.

Finally, a few simple recommendations for those who plan to move to Turkey and want to earn an income:

1. Explore the possibilities for remote work;

2. Support yourself with some savings to feel secure at an early stage of your stay in Turkey;

3. Provide yourself with recurring revenue, such as property rent back home;

4. Start learning the language immediately;

5. Track ads in on-line communities in social media;

6. Look for a job and get employed in compliance with the Turkish legislation.


We wish you happiness and prosperity in Turkey!

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Always yours,

Tolerance-Homes Team

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