Lawyer in Turkey: June 2013

Friday, June 21, 2013

Board Practices

A woman called me recently to ask whether a board could remove an existing playground in a residential complex without consulting its members. The board felt a barbeque area was nicer than a playground. The playground had already been sold. Objections of members were answered as follows: ”we don’t need your approval, because we’ll have a majority.” This was said, because the members who were asking about it were from another nationality than the board.

Another reader asks himself the question if expensive improvements to the main building can take place without an underlying decision of the members. In other words, is a board entitled to just renew the basement, place a sauna, purchase an expensive installation system or remove an existing installation - such as a satellite antenna - without an underlying decision of the association.
All these questions can be answered with a definite 'No'.
The director, or the board, is an executive body which operates in the service of all the owners of the residence or the members of the association. The board is obliged to carry out the decisions of the members. These decisions need to be taken in majority during a regular or special meeting.
Nevertheless, a majority vote does not necessarily mean that the rights of the minority should not be observed. A non-consenting owner (member) may annul a majority decision on legitimate personal grounds.
To clarify I will take the example of the playground. The decision to remove the playground and replace it with a barbeque tent, taken in majority of votes, may be annulled in court on grounds that the enjoyment of families with many children is limited. Namely, the association should make the justified decision to ensure the existing rights of the families with children. If really necessary, the playground can be moved to another location, so the (grand)children of these families can still use it. However, a barbecue is not seen as a necessary item for all members and should therefore not be funded by members that don’t want to make use of it.
In short: The board is only justified to carry out a (legal) action if a decision is taken by the members at a meeting. An exception to this rule is made if necessary and / or urgent situations occur that justify immediate interference of the board. For example, if a basement floods, the board must take immediate action to limit the damage. I say must, because it’s their obligation, not a choice. The board in this case is legitimate to hire a pump, and make costs, to pump the water out so damage is limited and it is not necessary for the board to consult the members. However, this doesn't mean the board may purchase an expensive pump, or paint and redecorate the basement.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Minimum Wages Turkey 2013 (2nd period)

The Turkish Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, has announced the minimum wage for 2013, the 1st period of 2013, (1st January 2013 - 30 June 2013).

Every year on the 1st of  January and the 1st of  July the government announces the new wages for the next coming 6 months.

Structure minimum salary
The statutory minimum wage is based on the gross salary for normal working hours, without overtime. You receive this wage on the agreed payment period, f.e. weekly, monthly or every 4 weeks. The gross salary may consist of:
  • the (basic) salary in your employment contract has been agreed;
  • the allowances for performance, shifts, irregular hours, standby duty and working conditions;
  • the fixed bonus for the sales you make any payment and you will receive;
  • the rewards of third parties caused by the work.

The total of these amounts shall not be less than the minimum wage.

Pay slip
To avoid problems in the future with the tax authorities, es we recommend to pay the wages exactly as mentioned on the pay slip. If you pay in cash, let your staff monthly sign the pay slip (your accountant will create the slip monthly).

Apartments staff
The legislation distinguishes apartments staff. There are more than 200,000 people who are registered as apartment staff (kapıcı). The government has made ​​an exception for this group allowing an exemption from income tax (gelir vergisi) and withholding tax (withholding tax). The exemption creates a higher net income. The total cost to the employer will remain the same.

(Period 01.07.2013-31.12.2013)
16 years and older
Apartment personnel (kapıcı)
Gross salary
1021,50 TL
1021,50 TL
Social insurance employee
143,01 TL
143,01 TL
Unemployment insurance contribution employee
10,22 TL
10,22 TL
Income tax
56,84 TL
Cost of living allowance (aig)
(Single and no children)
73,40 TL
Stamp tax
6,74 TL
Total deductions
216,81 TL
153,23 TL
NET SALARY (incl aig)
804,69 TL
868,27 TL
Total cost for employer
1.190,05 TL
1.190,05 TL