Life in Turkey

Can Foreigners Establish an Association in Turkey?

In the last years, one of the most important effects of globalization can be observed as the dynamism in international work and trade. Turkey has started to be preferred by many foreign investors with its young population, improved infrastructure and geopolitical position between three continents. Therefore, many foreign investors or employees settled in Turkey and continue their activities in Turkey. In addition, the world’s leading foreign firms in Turkey from west to east again to investment have begun to prefer different cities. When foreigners who are integrated in the different cities of Turkey, the foreign navigating regulations in the Law of Associations have demanded to take an active role in the association and this right is provided at the end of it

Turkish Law of Associations

As of 2001, freedom of establishing an association in Turkey is guaranteed by Article 33 of the Constitution. According to the related article, everyone who lives in Turkey has right to establish an association without prior notice, and they can become a member or withdraw from membership. However, some situations in which freedom of establishing an association may be restricted are also specified in the constitution. According to the Constitution, freedom of association can be restricted for reasons of national security, public order, prevention of crime, general health and general morality and protection of the freedoms of others, and this restriction can only be made in accordance with the law. Moreover, according to Article 16 of the Constitution, the freedom of association, which is considered within the scope of fundamental rights and freedoms, can be restricted for foreigners, provided that it complies with international law.

Establishing an Association by Foreigners in Turkey

According to Article 93 of the Turkish Civil Code of 4721, foreign real persons who have the right to reside in Turkey, they can establish an association or become a member in these associations. According to this article, foreigners must have a valid residence permit to be a member of an association in Turkey. In addition people who are living as residents abroad and have dual citizenship in Turkey or Turkish citizens have freedom of association, there is no legal obstacle in being a member of these associations. If foreigners want to establish an association in Turkey, they are required to provide the following documents like Statute, Association Statement of Establishment, Rental Contract or Consent and Notification List. Statutes of the association are prepared in 4 copies and signed by all founding members. In addition, if the association’s office is rented, the lease contract will be sufficient, if it is allocated to the association free of charge, the consent letter will be sufficient. Applications for association establishment should be made to the Office of Associations in your city.

How can Foreign Associations Open a Branch in Turkey?

According to the Law of Associations, there is no legal impediment to open a branch for foreign associations in Turkey. Associations, which are previously stated that they can open branches in their statutes, give two Establishment Declarations signed by at least three persons, together with the authority they receive from the boards, and the documents described below to the local administrative authority of the city where the branch will be opened.

  • 2 approved by-laws of the association,
  • Founders’ identity photocopies,
  • Residence permits of foreign founder in Turkey
  • The list indicating the names, surnames, settlements and signatures of the temporary board of directors members and the person or persons authorized to receive the notification,
  • Photocopy of the decision of the authority given to the board of directors,
  • Photocopy of the decision of the authority given to those appointed as founders

The examination time of the applications of the relevant associations is 60 days in Turkey. If their application is deemed appropriate, they will get permission to open branches in Turkey. However, if the statutes and activities of foreign association are evaluated as risky or harmful, they may not take the permission to open a branch in Turkey. Finally, the branch establishment notification is sent to the Ministry of Interior by the provincial associations directorate within seven days.   If you have any question about activities of associations by foreigners in Turkey, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

Ata Kurumsal

Ata Institutional Consulting is a leading consultancy company in its field, with expert personnel, with 12 years of experience, providing residence permit, work permit, Turkish citizenship consultancy and corporate consultancy services to foreigners. Ata Instiutional Consultancy

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