Working In Turkey How Easy Is It?

17 February 2022

Many people these days wonder how easy it is to find a job in Turkey. Every summer, many holiday makers wish to find work in Turkey so they can stay and live permanently.

Years ago there was no problem, and many people would happily hop on a plane and find work in a bar, restaurant or teaching English, but after the year 2000 Turkey tightened up the rules and anyone found to be working without a Turkish Work Permit or Turkish Citizenship would be fined and deported.

The Turkish Government insists that Turkish workers come first, which is completely understandable.
The rules included that an employer can only hire a foreigner for every five Turkish workers.
Generally speaking, it’s not as easy to work in Turkey as a foreigner, as it once was.

Foreigners are also not allowed to work in certain sectors including, nursing, pharmaceutical, lawyer, notary, security, customs, dentistry, veterinary medicine and a few others.

There are however a few job options available for foreigners with a work permit, and these are as follows.

English Teacher

Many international schools in Turkey employ foreign English teachers. It definitely helps to have a TEFL Certificate, which means ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language’
You can achieve this qualification through doing online courses. There are many online organizations that run the course and will issue you your certificate.
Doing this course means you will learn all the skills required to be a foreign language teacher.
In addition to being a requirement for most schools, you will earn higher wages with a TEFL Certificate.
If you succeed and earn a position teaching at a school, they should apply for your work permit for you. After the application is approved you can start work.

Nanny, Childcare, Au pair

Usually for au pair or childcare jobs, you will need some experience in childcare and a clean criminal record.
You can explore online for jobs through agencies to find many live-in nanny positions.
Lots of Turkish families choose foreign child nannies so that their children can learn English from a young age.
How many children you will care for, how much you will earn and time off varies from family to family, depending on their situation, so meeting the family first and getting a feel for their lifestyle and discussing all aspects of the job is a good idea.

Online remote work

Lots of foreigners in Turkey choose to work remotely from home, doing either sales jobs or online teaching through various organizations.
Be aware though that you will need a really good and uninterrupted internet connection and pay can be very poor.
Another problem in Turkey is that many of these online organizations pay your earnings via PayPal. Unfortunately, PayPal was banned in Turkey and is now unavailable, meaning you would need a foreign bank account to use and a VPN to open the PayPal banking service.

Holiday Rep

You will often see jobs advertised by international holiday companies for hotel or airport reps, but these jobs are more often than not for summer positions only. A few holiday reps move to winter destinations but not all.
Most of these companies will source a work permit for you and will provide accommodation and food.
It’s always better to research first though because some of these companies now only accept applicants with a Turkish Kimlik ID.

Hotel Work

On the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts there are very many large resorts with huge inclusive hotels. Many of these establishments employ foreigners for entertainment or childcare services and will secure work permits for foreigners whilst also providing accommodation and food.
These jobs will only be seasonal and run between May and late October. The pay can vary widely so best to explore all hotels that advertise for foreign staff first.

Work Permits in Turkey

The work permits are issued by the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Security, in the form of an official document and gives the right to work and reside in Turkey, within the validity period.

Foreigners can apply for a work permit if they have a valid residence permit, a passport that has at least 60 days validity and a contract with the company.
Work permits are only issued to foreigners to work at a specific work place or business, meaning if the foreigner leaves the job, the permit will lose its validity. If the foreigner starts a new job for another company or address, they must obtain a new work permit.
Employers must complete all the appropriate application forms for their overseas employees and send all the paper work to the Ministry of Labor and Social Security’s relevant section.

After the foreigners work permit application is approved they can begin to work, not before.

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