LABOR LAW Istanbul, Turkey

Labor law is a legal disciple that examines issues related to workers’ rights, working conditions, wages of labours, labor unions and employer-employee relations.
Labor law arose from the essential need to protect the labor and to equalize the bargaining power between the employee and the employer. The need for protection of the labor arises from the fact that the labor is in a weak position against the employer due to his dependence on the employer both economically and legally. The labor risks his personality, life and health in order to fulfill his obligations arising from the employment contract. A labor needs to receive his salary in order to live on and take care of his family, while an employer is an investor. It cannot be said that employee-employer relationship, which is not based on equality between parties by its nature, is based on free will of the employee and a fair bargain. Therefore, over time, the State had to introduce regulations protecting rights of the employees by intervening in favor of the employee in the employee-employer relationship, where the balance of power between parties was not equal.

ser 1 1 0003 LABOR LAW min

It is seen by Constitution of The Republic of Turkey, Article 49 that principle of protecting the worker is adopted as one of the fundamental rules. According to Article 49 of Constitution of The Republic of Turkey, “Everyone has the right and duty to work. The State shall take the necessary measures to raise the standard of living of workers, and to protect workers and the unemployed in order to improve the general conditions of labor, to promote labor, to create suitable economic conditions for prevention of unemployment and to secure labor peace.” In fact, the principle regarding protecting the worker takes its basis from the principle of the social state. Along with the aforementioned principle, the Constitution also includes other fundamental rights regulated with the aim to protect workers such as working conditions and right to rest and leisure (Article 50), right to organize unions (Article 51), rights of collective labor agreements and collective agreement (Article 53), right to strike, and lockout (Article 54), provision of fair wage (Article 55), health services and protection of the environment (Article 56), right to social security (Article 60).

Employee-employer relationship in today’s Turkey is regulated with many codes, regulations and citations being in the first place 6098 numbered Turkish Code of Obligations, 4857 numbered Labor Law, 7036 numbered Law on the Labor Courts, 6331 numbered Law on the Occupational Health and Safety, 854 numbered Maritime Labor Law, 5953 numbered Law on Press Labor Law, 6356 numbered Law on Trade Unions and Collective Bargaining Agreements, 9783 numbered Law on Social Insurance and General Health Insurance.

Employees and employers may, of their own free will, include all kinds of provisions in the employment contract, provided that they do not violate the mandatory rules of law. In accordance with the rule of honesty, it is necessary to maintain a balance between conflicting interest in the employment contract. Today, unfortunately it cannot be said that the labor acts of his own free will, even during establishment stage of the employment contract. Let alone changing the provisions of the employment contract, the labor cannot even find the opportunity to examine and negotiate terms of the contract, and often has to submit to the conditions determined unilaterally by the employer.

mesci slide 2 min

We have observed for many years that most of the problems faced by labors are essential changes made by the employers on labors working conditions against their will, employers abstaining from paying insurance premiums of the labor, non-payment of overtime and weekend work, employers preventing the labor to take their maternity or paternity leaves, unrecorded labor employment, termination of the employment contract by the employer without valid reasons and misbehaviour and abuse conducted by the employer.

MESCI Law Firm, with its team of lawyers specialized in labor law, provides legal services regarding disputes arising from the employee-employer relationship, observes interests of both parties, draws a unique pathway for her clients, encourages parties to settle, makes right moves to ensure a fair balance of party dynamics that takes place in the subject business relationship. Our law firm in Turkey act as proxy of both employees and employers.


  • Employment-industrial accident lawsuits.
  • Severance and notice pay lawsuits.
  • Material and moral compensation lawsuits.
  • Mobbing lawsuits.
  • Reemployment lawsuits.
  • Action for fixing of period of service.
  • Compensation for loss of support.
  • Terminating the employment contract with valid and/or rightful reasons by the employer or the employee.
  • Preparation of employment contracts.
  • Providing legal consultancy to employers and/or employees based on their queries.

Contact US


19 Mayis Mahallesi Inonu Caddesi Mercan Sokak No: 15/7 1st Floor Kadikoy Istanbul TURKEY



+ 90 553 909 1335

Istanbul Labor Employment Lawyers 

MESCI LAW FIRM, is an up front globally recognized law firm in Turkey that provides legal services in the fields of individual labor law and collective labor law with its professional team consisting of Istanbul Labor Employment Lawyers who have worked for years in the field and who are experienced on representing both employees and employers. Our law firm in Turkey ensures that the interests of both parties are taken into account, thus draw up a unique roadmap specific to each case, encourage parties to reach to a settlement and make strategic moves to establish a fair balance in the dynamics between the parties in the employment relationship. Our labor law attorneys have been representing both employees and employers for many years. Our law firm in Turkey offers legal services on many subject related to labor law such as drafting employment contracts, defending employees, terminating employment contracts with justifiable cause or valid reasons, reinstatement cases, compensation cases following termination due to union membership, action of labor debt, actions for fixing of period of services, mobbing cases and resolving labor disputes through voluntary or compulsory mediation. In addition to these services, our law firm in Turkey also provides legal consultancy services regarding the establishment of workplace organization for the balance and healthy progression of the employer-employee relationship, preparation of relevant reports, forms, and regulations related to any legal procedures regarding employees, and training of human resources personnels. Our Istanbul Labor Employment Lawyers provide legal services related to any labor disputes in Istanbul from our central office. If you are looking for an Istanbul Labor Employment Lawyer, you can contact our law firm to receive specific preliminary information regarding your unique case. 

What is an unjust termination of an employment contract?

Unjust termination of an employment contract by the employer occurs when the reason for termination stated by the employer does not fall under the justifiable reasons for termination listed within the Article 25 of the Labor Law. In other words, if termination is made without a justifiable reaons or after the right to rely on justifiable reaons has ceased, then the termination is deemed unjust. If an employee suffers damages as a result of the employer termination the employment contract without justifiable reaons, the employee can apply to the labor court and request compensation for the damages suffered. Therefore, employers should objectively evaluate the employees’ behavior and performance in the workplace and determine whether the grounds for termination are justifiable before terminating the employment contract, and they should act in accordance with the termination procedure prescribed by law prior to termination.

What is termination with just cause in an employment contract? 

Termination with just cause can be defined as the unilateral and immediate termination of the employment contract by the employer who cannot be expected to continue the employment relationship within the framework of the rules of honesty, based on one of the reasons listed in Article 25 of Turkish Labor Law No. 4857. Article 25 of Turkish Labor Law No. 4857 defines a number of incidents in which an employer can terminate the employment contract before the end of the term, regardless of whether the contract is for a fixed or indefinite period, and without waiting for the notice period stated within the same Code. The reasons for termination with just cause are classified into four main categories: health reaons (Article 25/1-I), misconduct and similar violations of ethics and good faith (Article 25/1-II), compelling reaons (Article 25/1-III), and the employee’s detention or arrest, resulting in an absence that exceeds the notice period specified in Article 17 (Article 25/1-IV). If any of the reaons listed in Article 25 are present, the employer can terminate the employment contract immediately, whether it is for a fixed or indefinite term. The employer must exercise their right to terminate the contract with just cause within 6 (six) working days from the date they become aware of the reason for termination, for reasons that do not comply with morality and goodwill. In case if the right for termination with just cause does not occur within six working days, the right of the party to terminate for just cause will disappear. On the other hand, it is important to note that, according to Article 26/1 of the Turkish Labor Law, the right to terminate the contract with just cause based on one of the reasons that fall under violation of ethics and good faith listed within Article 25/1-II can be exercised within 1 (one) year following the incident. In other words, when more than 1 year has passed following the incident, the right to terminate immediately ceases. The day on which the employer becomes aware of the reason for termination is not included in the calculation of the six business days, and the period ends at the end of the sixth business day. 

Again it is quite important to note that, if the employment contract is to be terminated by the employer with just cause, the minutes related to defense procedures of the employee regarding the incident must be carried out as an obligation to prove the reasons is legally just. 

What are the formal requirements for termination with just cause notice? 

In cases where there are reasons for termination with just cause as stated within the Article 25 of the Labor Law No. 4857, the law grants the employer the right to terminate the fixed-term or indefinite employment contract with just cause immediately. The employer is not required to present the termination notice with just cause in writing to the employee. The requirement for the termination notice to be presented in writing to the employee is only required for the termination notice to be presented in writing to the employee is only required for terminations based on valid reasons, as regulated in Article 18 of Labor Law No. 4857. Although the written form requirement of the termination notice is a consequence of Article 109 of Labor Law No. 4857, it is not a validity condition but a condition of proof except for the termination cases based on valid reasons as regulated in Article 18. Therefore, the employer who terminates the employment contract with just cause is providing a means of proof that the termination is based on just cause by presenting the termination notice in writing to the employee. If the employee that receives the termination notice refuses to sign it, the incident must be recorded before presence of witnesses and the termination notice must be made in writing by sending a warning letter through Notary Public. According to Supreme Court decisions and for example 2016/19130 E., 2017/11838 K., 4.7.2017 T. numbered decision of the 9th Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court, the date on which the record of refusal of the termination notice by the employer is made will be considered as the date of notification of the termination notice if it is confirmed by the witnesses who put signatures on mentioned records, on the minutes. 

What are the reasons for termination without compensation in Turkish Law?

The incidents that grant the employer the right to terminate the employment contract with just cause and without compensation, known as “Acts Contrary to Ethics and Good Faith and Similar Cases”, are limited in number (numerus clauses) in Article 25 of Turkish Labor Law No. 4857. For example, the employees’ absence for two consecutive working days or two working days after any holiday in a month, or three working days in a month, without taking permission to leave from the employer or for a justified reason is one of these incidents indicated within Article 25. The 9th Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court within it’s 2018/10019 E., 2019/8414 K. and 10.4.2019 T. numbered decision clearly stated, “ … The dispute over the fact that the plaintiff did not go to work on February 3, 2017, February 11, 2017 and February 15, 2017 is irrelevant. The plaintiff did not provide an legal excuse for the days of his absence, nor did he obtain permission from the authorized supervisors for the days he did not go to work. It is understood that the defendant employer was justified in terminating the plaintiffs’ employment agreement due to his repeated failure to report to come to work for three business days in one month. Therefore, the acceptance of the reinstatement claim with a written justification is erroneous.”. 

Providing the employer with false information about the qualification of the employee; making immoral statements or behaving immorally towards the employer; sexually harrasing another employee of the employer; verbally assaulting the employer; coming to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs; engaging in behaviors that are not in accordance with honesty and loyalty, such as misusing the employers’ trust, theft, or revealing the employers’ trade secrets; committing a crime punishable by more than seven days of imprisonment without deferment while at the workplace; persistently refusing to perform duties despite being reminded by the employer; endangering job safety due to the employees’ own negligence or delay; causing damage or loss to machines, equipment, or other property belonging to or under the control of the workplace to an extent that cannot be compensated by thirty days’ worth of wage are also defined as “Acts Contrary to Ethics and Good Faith and Similar Cases” in the law in addition to the above.

What can an employee who is dismissed without compensation do?

Sometimes, in order to avoid paying compensation, we come across with situations where the employees employment contract is unjustly terminated by citing one of the reasons listed in Article 25/1-II of the Turkish Labor Law No. 4857, even though the reason may not actually exist. If an employee who encounters such a situation is subject to job security, he can file a reinstatement lawsuit within one month starting from the date they have learned their employment contract is terminated and request a decision from the competent labor court to declare the invalidity of the termination made by the defendant employer due to unfair dismissal. In our legal system, it is accepted that employees with indefinite-term employment contracts who have been employed for at least six months in a workplace where the relevant employer employs thirty or more employees and who are not in the position of employer’s representative are subject to job security. The one-month period is a limitation period and the employees’ right to file a reinstatement lawsuit will be extinguished when the period expires. The employee may request payment of their unpaid social rights through the reinstatement lawsuit they filed and may also request payment for up to four months of unpaid wages for idle periods (Labor Law, Article 21/3). When it is determined by the court that the reason for termination shown by the employer is not valid and the termination is deemed invalid, the employer is obliged to re-employ the employee within one month. If the employer does not start the employee within one month upon the employees’ application, the employer is obliged to pay job security compensation equal to at least four months’ and up to eight months’ wages to the employee (Labor Law, Article 21/1). The amount of compensation to be paid if the employee is not employed will also be calculated by the relevant labor court. As stated in Labor Law No. 4857, an employee whose employment contract is terminated must file a mediation application within one month from the date of the termination notice with the claim that the reason for termination is not a valid reason. If an agreement cannot be reached through mediation, a reinstatement lawsuit must be filed within two weeks from the date of issuance of mediation failure report. On the other hand, employees who are not subject to job security or who are subject to job security but do not want to return back to work with their employers at the same workplace can file a wage claim lawsuit and through such a compensation lawsuit demand payment of their severance pay, notice pay, annual leave pay, national holiday and general holiday pay, overwork pay and their unpaid salaries.

Severance Pay Upon Unjust Termination

With the enactment of Turkish Labor Law No. 4857, Turkish Labor Law No. 1475 has been abolished. However, Article 14 of Turkish Labor Law No. 1475, which regulates severance pay is still in effect. Severance pay is defined as the lump sum of money paid by the employer to the employee, in accordance with legal regulations, in consideration of the employees past services, taking into account the employees’ wear and tear at work, the difficulties the employee will face in finding a new job, and the contributions made by the employee to the workplace, in the event that the employee loses their job after working for a certain period of time at the employers’ workplace. 

There are certain prerequisites for an employee to be eligible for severance pay. First of all, the employee must have worked under a valid employment contract, as defined by Turkish Labor Law No. 4857 or under other types of work covered by the Turkish Code of Obligations No. 6102. Additionally, the employee must have worked for the same employer for at least one year to be eligible for severance pay. 

In addition to these conditions, the employees’ employment contract must have been terminated in a way that entitles them to receive severance pay, in other words, the employee must not have been terminated for reasons listed under Article 25/1-II of Turkish Labor Law No. 4857, which are listed as “Violation of Good Faith and Ethics”. If the employees’ contract was terminated for one of the reasons listed under mentioned article, they will not be entitled to severance pay. However, in such a case, the employee can file a lawsuit claiming that the termination was unjust and request severance pay to be paid.

Unfair Termination Compensation 

Under the Turkish Code of Obligations numbered 6100, if an employer terminates an employment contract without a just cause, the employee can demand compensation for the amount they would have earned if the notice period for indefinite-term contracts or the contract period for fixed-term contracts had been respected. The compensation for unfair termination specified in Article 438 of the Turkish Code of Obligation also applies to employees subject to the Labor Law. Unfair termination compensation is a discretionary compensation and is determined by the judge by considering all the circumstances of the case, but the compensation amount cannot exceed six months’ salary of the employee. The employee does not need to prove any material or moral damage to claim the unfair termination compensation, and it is sufficient to prove that the termination was unfair. The purpose of this type of compensation is to ensure that the employee, whose contract has been terminated without just cause, is satisfied in a moral sense.

Notice Pay Upon Unjust Termination

In Turkey, notice pay compensation is an important consept that is provided to employees in the event that they are terminated from their job without cause. This compensation is granted to employees as a way of helping to offset the financial burden that comes with being unemployed, and it is an important legal right that all employees in Turkey should be aware of. Under Turkish law, notice pay compensation is calculated based on the length of time that an employee has worked for a particular employer. Specifically, the compensation amount is equal to the total amount of salary that the employee would have earned during the notice period, which is typically between two weeks and six months depending on the length of the employees’ employment. The purpose of the notice period is to give the employee a chance to find a new job and to make the transition to unemployment as smooth as possible. The length of the notice period is determined by the employer and is typically outlined in the employees’ employment contract. If an employer terminates an employee without just cause and without providing the appropriate notice period, the employee is entitled to receive notice pay compensation. 

  • If the employment is for less than six months, compensation for two weeks;
  • If the employment is between six and eighteen months compensation for four weeks;
  • If the employment is between eighteen months and three years, compensation for six weeks;
  • And finally if the employment is for over three years, compensation for eight weeks

shall be paid to the employee as notice pay. 

Reach Your Labor Lawyer in Turkey 

MESCI Law Firm is a well-known law firm based in Istanbul, Turkey that specializes in labor law. The firm has a team of highly experienced lawyers who are dedicated to providing expert legal advice and representation to clients in a variety of industries. One of the key factors contributing to the success of Mesci Law Firm is their in-depth knowledge of Turkish labor law. 

The firms’ lawyers have extensive experience in handling a wide range of labor law cases, including employment contracts, workplace disputes, discrimination claims, and wrongful termination cases. This knowledge allows them to provide clients with accurate and reliable legal advice and to develop effective legal strategies that are tailored to each individual case. In addition to their knowledge of Turkish labor law, MESCI Law Firm is also known for their strong client relationships. The firm is committed to building long-term relationships with their clients and to providing personalized legal services that meet their individual needs. This approach has helped to build trust and loyalty among hundreds of clients, many of whom have been with the firm for years. 

Another key factor contributing to the success of Mesci Law Firm is their dedication to staying up-to-date with the latest developments in labor law. The firms’ lawyers regularly attend training and continuing education courses to ensure that they are aware of any changes on labor law in Turkey. This commitment to ongoing learning allows them to stay ahead of the curve and to provide clients with most current and effective legal advice and representation.

Mesci Law Firms’ success is also due to their commitment to excellence in all aspects of their work. The firms’ lawyers in Istanbul are known for their attention to detail, their strong work ethic, and their dedication to achieving the best possible outcomes for their clients. There are also known for their professionalism and their ability to handle even the most complex and challenging labor law cases with ease. 

Overall, MESCI Law Firm has established a reputation as one of the top labor law firms in Turkey. Their extensive knowledge of labor law, strong client relationships, commitment to ongoing learning, and dedication to excellence have helped them to achieve a high level of success and to build a strong reputation in the legal community. Whether representing individual clients or large corporations, Mesci Law Firm has the expertise and experience needed to achieve the best possible solution for their clients.

Consult Your Istanbul Labor Employment Lawyers

Our Approach

We Always Listen

We always listen our client and act according to their interests.


We are attentive to client-attorney confidentiality rules.

Right Approach

We provide qualified services by using strategic and unique defense techniques allocated to your case.

Collaboration Network

We cooperate with financial advisors and academicians.

Respect And Care

We value to our clients and aim to close your case with success.

Expertly Guide

We are here to provide you qualified legal services throughout Turkey.

Call UsWhatsapp