Work Permit of Turkish Origin Foreigners in Turkey
The law number 2527 which was legislated in 1981 supports foreigners who are Turkish origin and who reside in Turkey, with performing their professions and artworks freely, or work in private firms excluding public institutes, Turkish Armed Forces and Security Cooperation. It is indicated in the law number 2527 after the law number 4817 was legislated that the authority of giving work permit to Turkish origin foreigners belongs to Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Besides, it is ensured to take views from Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The regulation for the enforcement of the law was legislated the same year the law itself was also legislated.
The biggest enigma about Turkish origin foreigners is about which nationality can be counted as Turkish origin. It is known that Turkish people who come from periphery countries and Balkan States would like to benefit from their right to labor in scope of this. It is absent in the law and in the regulation for the enforcement of the law whether Turkish origin people can work in the branches which are permitted for foreign workers or not. This is not a deficiency in relation to the law. For the opinion of the management comes into prominence when it comes to this issue, and also the management draws a frame with classified regulations. A highly classified directive is legislated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Ministry of Labor will decide whether or not they are in the scope of Turkish origin according to the opinions of relevant councils including the Ministry of Internal Affairs and also looking at the regulations.
The exemption from getting work permit for Turkish origin foreigners was not indicated in the law number 2527 and its related regulations. As a matter of fact, the law number 2527 was altered after the law number 4817 was legislated in 2003, which stipulates that the work permits should be given by Ministry of Labor and Social Security. Pursuant to article number 30 of the law which provides this change, this judicial sentence was held: “For Turkish origin foreigners, the permission to work and to be employed for the professions and works for which the Turkish citizens are able to work, providing that they have the qualifications and they are willing to carry out the obligations which are required in special laws, according to this Law and the Law of Work Permit for Foreigners, they are given the permission by The Ministry of Labor and Social Security with the help of the opinions of other related departments and institutions”.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Security legislated a regulation with a classified inscription in 2009 concerning the exemption of foreigners who are Turkish origin pursuant to the article number 30 of the law number 4817. This judicial sentence was held in this regulation: “By means of having residence permit before 7.3.2009 and having been residing in Turkey since; Turkish origin foreigners who are Western Thracian Turks and who are citizens of Iraq, China (East Turkestan), Afghanistan, Bulgaria and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus who demanded residency until 7.10.2009, may be exempt from work permit with the demands of The Ministry of Labor and Social Security and also the opinions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The workers who are within the scope of the law number 2527 and who are citizens of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are out of the scope of this regulation.
The regulation stated above was ceased by Council of State as a result of TMMOB’s (Turkish Engineers’ and Architects’ Association) file with the reason that “according to Turkish Engineers’ and Architects’ Associations law number 6235 and the law number 4817, a foreign engineer cannot be exempted from work permit even in the event that they are Turkish origin”. Thus, foreigners who are Turkish origin –including the ones who are exempted from the rule of prohibited branches for foreigners- must have their work permit to work in Turkey. However, with the change in the implementing provisions of the law number 4817 in February 2012, the work permit will be given to Turkish origin foreigners without the application of criterias.
Generally, people who fail to keep possession of their Turkish citizenship are treated as foreigners, and they also treated as such about their work permits. Nevertheless, a derogation was applied to this judicial sentence for Turkish citizens who live abroad and who want to be the citizen of the country which they reside. Turkish citizens who live in the countries that do not accept dual nationality are forced to expatriate their Turkish citizenship. A change was made in the Law of Turkish Citizenship to protect these citizens who does not wish to leave their Turkish citizenship but also would like to stay in the citizenship of the country in which they live for social and economical reasons. Pursuant to the article number 28 of the law, people who were born in Turkey and who by means of loss of their citizenship with the will to expatriate and also their third-degree relatives, excluding the exceptions, will continue having their rights as Turkish citizens. One of these rights is the right to work. The Law of Turkish Citizenship has restricted only working as a public official and has not counted other workspaces as exceptions. In that case, the ones who are deprived of Turkish citizenship by means of their own decision, in other words, the ones who has the right of owning Blue ID Card are exempted from the obligation of work permit. At the same time, these Turkish origin foreigners are eligible for working in the fields which are prohibited for foreigners.
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For the protection of the rights of citizens who have expatriated from Turkish citizenship because of one of these reasons, the application of Blue ID Card was put into practice. A Blue ID Card is issued for these people so that they can enjoy their rights if they are willing to. The citizens who have the Blue ID Card are treated as Turkish citizens if they ever come to Turkey and need any kind of service. Blue ID Cards are issued only with the personal request of citizens. Outside Turkey, External Representative Institutions are authorized to give the Blue ID Card; in Turkey, it is the General Management of Civil Population and Citizenship, and the Head Office of Province Civil Population and Citizenship are authorized to give the card.
An exception was made in the law number 4817 for Turkish origin foreigners on account of work permit while those whose nationality is Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus were counted outside of it. The reason for this is that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is accepted as an independent state. People who are from Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are in a special status from the standpoint of Turkish government. One of the latest regulations which determines this status is the treaty which was signed back in 1999 between the two countries. This special status for citizens of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was resolved with this treaty and they were left out of the scope of the law number 2527. The present work permit procedure will be carried on until the legal regulations related to the special status arrangement of these people are completed. A work permit or residency permit exemptions are not envisioned in the treaty, but it is indicated that these people will be given 5 years utmost for work permit. Nationals of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are exempted from work permit, while other Turkish origin people are only exempted from the application of criterias.
What does “Turkish Origin Foreigner” mean?
According to Turkish law, Turkish origin foreigners create a different circumstance among other foreigners. Neither in Law of Turkish Citizenship nor in the law of work permit for Turkish origin foreigners, the term “Turkish origin” is identified. Furthermore, how to determine the origins of Turkey is not legistlated. The decision will be finalised by the authorities after the official applications are given. The biggest difference of being a Turkish origin among all other foreigners is about the issue of work permit. Special provisions were held about the prohibited workspaces for foreigners with the law number 2527 which helps Turkish origin foreigners to apply for any profession and to accomplish their works of art with free will.