What is the change? Turkey has increased the minimum wage, which also impacts salary thresholds for foreign employees.

What does the change mean? Effective Jan. 1, the gross minimum monthly wage is 2,943 Turkish lira (about US$501). Additionally, foreign employees must be paid a salary that is commensurate with the position.

  • Implementation time frame: Jan. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work and residence permits.
  • Who is affected: Employers and employees applying for new or renewing work permits.

The monthly minimum salaries required for work permits are as follows:

Category Threshold as factor of the gross minimum wage Monthly threshold in lira
High-level managers and pilots 6½ X gross minimum wage 19,129.50 lira
Department managers and engineers/architects 4X gross minimum wage 11,772 lira
Positions requiring expertise (which is not defined) and teachers 3X gross minimum wage 8,829 lira
Employees in the tourism industry (e.g., acrobats), as well as masseurs/SPA therapists 2X gross minimum wage 5,886 lira
All others (e.g., sales officers, low-level marketing officers) 1½ X gross minimum wage 4,414.50 lira
Household workers Minimum wage 2,943 lira

Analysis & Comments: The new salary minimums show an overall increase compared to 2019 levels. Employers should take into account the new minimums when planning their 2020 budgets, as applications that do not meet the appropriate salaries will be rejected. The new salary levels apply for both local hires and assignees on foreign payroll (with an assignment letter).

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