What are the Social Rights of Foreigners Living in Turkey ?

While the mobility of work force, capital and information increasing globally, many people started to follow job opportunities in different countries. Also,Turkey is advantageous location for foreign nationals

But which social rights are owned by foreign nationals living in Turkey ? In this article, we discussed the basic social rights of the people living in Turkey.

How do Social Security Rights of Foreigners Protect ?

Constitution of the Republic of Turkey has “Everyone has the right to social security.” provision. This statement includes the social rights of foreigners.

The Social Insurance and General Health Insurance Law also refers to this issue. According to the code ;

“Based on the principle of reciprocity, the employees of the foreign national shall be deemed to be insured under Article 4/a (SSK), except those who are in compliance with the international social security agreement.”

What is Bilateral Social Security Contract ?                         

Bilateral or multilateral social security contracts regulate the social security rights and obligations of the signatory countries of the signatory countries.

If there is such a contract between the two countries, the citizens of both countries will have a lot of social security rights.

By 2016 ,countries that Turkey has signed bilateral social security agreement are as follows:

Bilateral Social Security                                         Contracts Signed by Turkey
Germany Luxembourg Libya
France Macedonia Azerbaijan
Belgium Norway TRNC
Denmark Romania Albania
Austria Canada Bosnia-Herzegovina
Switzerland Georgia Czech Republic
Sweden Quebec Serbia
Netherlands Croatia South Korea
United Kingdom Slovakia Karabakh

How this contract affects insurance conditions of foreigners in Turkey ?

This fundamental rule about foreigners should be reported to Social Security Institution when foreigners start working in Turkey. However, bilateral social security agreements to parties who are nationals of countries from which they come are insured in the country, for the period specified in the contract is not in Turkey, they are insured in their country.

For example, this period is 24 months for the citizens of Georgia. This period can be extended up to 60 months. K.K.T.C. for citizens this period is 24 months and the time is extended depending on the agreement between the two countries.

So they are not regarded as insured persons even when they work in Turkey.

Can Foreign Nationals Benefit from Health Rights ?

In order to get benefit from general health insurance, foreign individuals must apply the nearest social security center personally. Turkey has more than 600 social security center to make this application in different cities.


  • Foreigners who have a residence permit in Turkey,
  • Foreigners who have not an insurance in any country except Turkey,
  • Foreign nationals who lived more than 1 year in Turkey and made an application, can benefit from general health insurance.

A foreign national who is entitled to general health insurance;

  • His/her spouse,
  • His/her child who is under 18 years old (or children),
  • His/her children who are not married and have not completed the age of 20 in the case of high school or equivalent education,
  • His/her Children who are not married and have not completed the age of 25 in the case of Higher Education,
  • Regardless of age, his/her children who determined as invalid
  • Parents whose livelihood is determined according to criteria determined by the Institution provided by the foreign national can benefit from health services

Can Foreigners get benefit from the unemployment insurance ?

Citizens of countries signed a social security agreement based on reciprocity with the Republic of Turkey, according to this agreement are subject to unemployment insurance in case studies in Turkey.

Do foreigners have rights like paid vacation or severance pay ?

The foreigners who are employed in Turkey have some rights like working hours, overtime, paid and unpaid vacation, severance pay, bargaining right, conclusion and abolishment of a contract. They have the same rights like Turkish citizens.

What Kind Occupations do Foreigners Profess ?

By 2016, foreigners are prohibited from performing following professions :

  • Dentistry, midwifery and patient care
  • Pharmacy
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Responsible director in private hospitals
  • Including inline waters, captain, exporting fish, oysters, mussels, sponges, pearls, corals and plunger, seeking, guiding, knife grinder, clerkship, crew
  • Advocacy
  • Notary
  • Customs consultancy
  • Security officer in private or public institutions

Foreigners are free to perform their occupations that are not included in this list.

Can Foreigners be retired from Turkey ?

Yes, foreigners can be retired from Turkey. The conditions

The retirement age of a foreign woman living in Turkey is 58 and 60 for men.

Independent employees must complete 7,200 premium days and independent and public employees 9,000 premium days.

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