Turkish Legal System
This bird's eye view of the Turkish Legal System is designed to give the reader an overall idea of how to take care of a variety of transactions and where to go or whom to call if additional assistance is required.
With this in mind after a brief introduction into the Turkish legal system, the following subjects will be addressed, though not in-depth: residence permits; visa requirements, local obligations; custom regulations; information on tourism police, foreigners' office, embassies and consulates; reciprocity; legal issues.
Sample petitions in English and Turkish language are presented for your convenience as well as a condensed list of lawyers.
Turkey has a law system, which has been wholly integrated with the continental European system. For instance, the Turkish civil law system has been modified by incorporating elements mainly of the Swiss Civil Code, the Code of Obligations and the German Commercial Code. The administrative law bears similarities with the French Counterpart and the penal code with the Italian Counterpart.
The Voyage and Residence of the Foreigners within
Foreigners who intend to stay in Turkey for more than three months must apply to the security authorities and fill in a declaration in order to obtain a residence permit. The applicant shall be requested no fees or charges for this declaration.
Foreigners who have arrived in Turkey for the purpose of working must obtain a residence permit within one month of their arrival date. They must have received their work permit before commencing work.
Foreigners arriving in Turkey with a common passport for the purpose of touring or participating in a congress or conference or a cultural entertainment are not obliged to obtain permission and can stay for up to two months. This duration may be longer if necessary.
The Foreigners who shall work in Turkey
Foreigners who intend to work in Turkey as an employer, employee, freelancer, or as an official, are required to declare this circumstance at least 15 days before the start of their work and have it registered in the Ikamet Tezkeresi (Residence Permit)
Foreigners are required to submit their ID card, residence permit or passport whenever asked by police or gendarme.
The necessary documents for application of permits should be delivered to the Yabancılar Şubesi (Foreigners' Office) - a sub-unit of General Security Department which is located on Vatan Caddesi (Vatan Avenue) in Fatih. Tel: (212) 636 1722 and 636 1878
Constitutional rights and obligations:
Peoples are equal vis-à-vis laws regardless of any discrimination such as race, language, religion, sex and so forth.
The basic rights and freedom of foreigners are to be limited only by law.
Every one is entitled to the freedom of worshipping, religion, conscience and belief.
Everyone is entitled to claim his rights and defend himself/herself in the Courts.
Everyone is entitled to work and conclude agreements in whatever field he/she wishes.
Everyone is obligated to pay taxes in accordance with his/her financial strength.
Civil Rights and Obligations
In this section you will find information addressing the procedures for various petitions and transactions such as securing a
Obtaining residence permits, and issues relating to
Conducting transactions at the traffic office
All essential transactions, previously done before by the civil local officers are carried out now by the Foreigners' Office pursuant to the recent regulations. Therefore, foreigners have no contact with local civil officers.
If you wish to leasing an automobile, branch offices of international firms are widely available in addition to local ones. All of them request standard contracts, which include unfavorable provisions. Since the lessor is requested beforehand to sign a blank slip with his credit card number listed on it, in case of any adverse situation the lessor immediately collects the money and the lessor needs to run after him to straighten things out. Beware and choose a reputable company with whom to conduct business.
For various reasons the visitor to Turkey might be requested to assign powers. Points that need attention are:
Term: make sure that it is done for a limited period for whatever Cause -it is safer and practical to renew it if need be than powers wondering around.
Content: try to avoid re-assigning and transferring powers; the exact reason and aim should be mentioned.
Interruption of Residence Period
Being abroad for period of maximum 6 months shall not be deemed as an interruption in the calculation of 5 years. That means the time spent abroad no more than 6 months shall not be added to the time of residence in Turkey. The foreigner may leave the country for a period of 6 months at most at one time. This time spent abroad shall not interrupt the ongoing 5- year-residence period and will not be taken into consideration in the calculation of 5 year-residence periods. That means, this time spent abroad shall be deducted from the total residence period in Turkey
In cases of interruptions caused by forces major such as medical treatments and education, the residence period shall not be deemed as interrupted even if the time spent abroad exceeds 6 months.
For the foreigners who unlawfully entered Turkey and who is residing in Turkey against the Law (of Voyages and Residence of foreigners In Turkey), the time spent residing in Turkey shall not be taken into consideration regarding the acceptance to the Turkish citizenship
Foreigners who reside in Turkey in accordance with the Turkish Laws but have no residence in accordance with the Turkish Civil Code.
The foreigners who reside in Turkey as provided in
the Turkish Civil Law
According to Turkish Citizenship Law, marrying a foreigner does not influence the citizenship of the husband. Foreign wife marrying a Turkish husband has the right to choose her own citizenship. But in some exceptions such as "having no citizenship", the foreigner automatically shall gain the Turkish citizenship due to the principle of "having at least one citizenship".
There is no condition as resigning from the other citizenship for the wife who has married a Turkish citizen.
Therefore, the Turkish Laws allow the wife to hold both of the citizenships implicitly.
Although some of the legal procedures can be easily done by yourself, such as getting work permit or marriage, you may sometimes need the advise of a lawyer for more complicated procedures or for private reasons. You can find English-speaking lawyers listed in our yellow pages in case you need help.