Turkey has repealed a 1924 law which required certain businesses to have a weekly holiday on Sundays. Non-exempt workplaces were previously also required to apply to local administrations for a license to work on Sundays. This license requirement and related fees have now been removed. However, other legislation continues to apply, protecting employees’ rights to a weekly holiday.

The Law on Weekly Holiday dated 2 January 1924, numbered 394 was repealed by the Law Amending Certain Laws and Decrees Aiming to Develop Industry and Support of Production, published in Official Gazette number 30111 on 1 July 2017.

The repealed law required workplaces operating in provinces with 10,000 people or more to have a weekly holiday on Sundays. Some exemptions applied, such as for hospitals, pharmacies, utility providers, or printing houses. Non-exempt workplaces were required to apply to local administrations for a license to work on Sundays. This license requirement and related fees have now been removed.

Despite the law being repealed, other legislative provisions continue to protect employees’ rights to a weekly holiday. These provisions include:

– Sundays are deemed a weekly holiday which must begin at latest 1 pm on Saturdays and last at least 35 hours (Law on National Holidays numbered 2429).

– If employees work during determined normal working hours, they must receive a weekly holiday lasting at least 24 hours within every seven-day period (Labor Law numbered 4857).

– Employers must grant a weekly holiday to employees on Sundays, or if not possible under the circumstances, a full-day holiday on a working day (Turkish Code of Obligations numbered 6098).

Please see this link for the full text of the relevant legislation (only available in Turkish).

Information first published in the MA | Gazette, a fortnightly legal update newsletter produced by Moroğlu Arseven.