Within the scope of governmental measures taken for inhibiting the negative aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Presidential Degree No. 3344 extended the termination prohibition and unpaid leave until 17 March 2021.

Since 17 April 2020, through a series of Presidential Degrees, employers – irrespective of their nationality, were prohibited from terminating any kind of employment or service agreements except for terminations arising from the employee’s behavior in immoral, dishonorable, or malicious conduct pursuant to the section (II) of the first paragraph of Article 25 of the Turkish Labor Code (“TLC”) below:

Turkish Labor Code, Article 25


  1. For immoral, dishonorable, or malicious conduct or other similar behaviors
  2. a) If, when the contract was concluded, the employee misled the employer by falsely claiming to possess qualifications or to satisfy requirements which constitute an essential feature of the contract, or by giving false information or making false statements;
  3. b) If the employee is guilty of any speech or action constituting an offence against the honor or dignity of the employer or a member of his family, or levels groundless accusations against the employer in matters affecting the latter’s honor or dignity;
  4. c) If the employee sexually harasses another employee of the employer;
  5. d) If the employee assaults or threatens the employer, a member of his family, or a fellow employee, or if he violates the provisions of Article 84(prohibition on Alcohol and Narcotic);
  6. e) If the employee commits a dishonest act against the employer, such as a breach of trust, theft, or disclosure of the employer’s trade secrets.;
  7. f) If the employee commits an offense on the premises of the undertaking which is punishable with seven days’ or more imprisonment without probation;
  8. g) If, without the employer’s permission or a good reason, the employee is absent from work for two consecutive days, or twice in one month on a working day following a rest day or on three working days in any month
  9. h) If the employee refuses, after being warned, to perform his duties;
  10. i) If either wilfully or through gross negligence the employee imperils safety or damages machinery, equipment, or other articles or materials in his care, whether these are the employer’s property or not, and the damage cannot be offset by his thirty days’ pay.”

In addition to the abovementioned cases under Article 25 of TLC, on 28 July 2020, Law No. 7252 on the Establishment of Digital Platforms Commission and Amendment of Certain Laws has excluded the following cases from the prohibition on terminating employment as well:

  • expiration of fixed-term employment or service contracts;
  • closure of the workplace and termination of a workplace’s activities for any reason;
  • any service procurement realized in accordance with the relevant legislation; and
  • termination of construction works.


https://www.mondaq.com/turkey/insurance-claims/971496/covid-19-termination-prohibition-back-on-the-agenda; https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=36b321a4-b84e-4421-8eb9-76fafdacf382

Authors: Sertac Kokenek, Zeynep Adıyaman and Elif Nur Çakır Vurgun