How-to-Establish-an-Association-in-Turkey

How to Establish an Association in Turkey : Comprehensive Guide 2023

  • Post last modified:May 22, 2023
  • Reading time:34 mins read
  • Post category:Cities

Discover the key to establishing a successful association in Turkey! Our comprehensive guide is your ultimate resource.

In the ever-evolving global landscape, Turkey presents enticing opportunities for individuals and businesses alike to establish thriving associations. Our Comprehensive Guide 2023 unravels the intricate tapestry of regulations, customs, and opportunities that shape this process. Whether you’re a startup, a multinational, or a non-profit, this guide navigates the uncharted waters of Turkish bureaucracy with you, illuminating the path to a successful establishment.

How to Establish an Association in Turkey

What is an Association

An association is an organization established by at least 7 people who continuously dedicate their knowledge and work to this purpose in order to realize a specific and common goal.

Legal rules related to associations;

How to Establish an Association in Turkey

For the association to be formed in Turkey, a minimum of 7 individuals have to unite and officially declare its establishment to the primary civil authority of the province in which they are situated.

The association is deemed established once the declaration of incorporation and other required documents are submitted to the civil authority, without the need for further authorization. In these civil superior provinces, the district governors also serve as the governors.

When it comes to how associations are formed, we basically discuss the importance of this notification. Therefore, this should not be interpreted as a simple declaration of incorporation. Many concerns should be addressed, including supplementary papers to the notification, the evaluation of this notification, the statute and the establishment of mandatory organizations, and so on.

Otherwise, the relationship may be closed as a result of the notification review. We’ll go over these in more detail later, but for now, let’s go over the stages of the association’s formation.

STAGES OF ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ASSOCIATION IN TURKEY
At least 7 people come together to set up this organization ↓
The purpose of the association and other details are determined ↓
The necessary documents that we will mention below are collected and the statute is prepared ↓
Written declaration of incorporation shall be prepared ↓
For the establishment, You should visit  İl Sivil Toplumla İlişkiler Müdürlüğü with the reqiured documents

In this way, the legal entity is established. Then, the legality of the incorporation notification is examined. We will mention below who will conduct this review and in what way. But first we will talk about the necessary documents.

Documents Required to Establish an Association in Turkey

The documents required to establish an association are included in the regulation. We can list these documents as follows:

  • Declaration of incorporation form completed and signed by at least 7 persons with the same purpose, real or legal
  • The statutes of the association, each copy of which was signed by all the founders of the association (described in the upper heading).
  • If there is a Legal Entity (Legal Status) among the persons who come together to establish an association, the title of the legal entity, the address of the place of residence, the certificate of incorporation and the copy of the resolution of the board of directors taken for the person who will represent the legal entity
  • If there is a foreign association or a non-profit organization other than these, a written statement signed by the founding members that the approval of the Ministry of Internal Affairs has been obtained.
  • If there are foreign nationals among the founders of the association, a document showing that these persons have the right to settle in Turkey.
  • If the headquarters of the association appears as a dwelling in the deed, the consent letter showing the consent of the apartment residents.

Association Establishment Notification Form

It is one of the two documents that civil society volunteers who want to establish an association must prepare. You can download this form, known as the Annex-2 form. What needs to be done is to fill in the information on the form electronically, that is, in a computer environment.

Information such as the name, center, address information, communication and purpose of the association are included on the form. However, it belongs to at least 7 people who have come together to form an association:

  • Name -Surname
  • TC Identity Number
  • If it is a Legal Entity Represented, its Name
  • Mobile Phone, E-mail Address
  • Nationality
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Profession
  • Residential Address
  • Signature

The above information is filled in one by one for 7 people and their signatures are put in front of them. After this information, the information of the temporary chairman of the board of directors (President of the Association) authorized to receive the DERBIS Password at the end of the Annex-2 form and the information of the persons authorized to receive correspondence and notifications are filled.

Preparation of the Association’s Charter

The process of writing the group’s charter is the most significant subject that individuals who wish to establish an association should focus on. You should be aware that the examples of association charters with or without branches provided on various Internet sites are only one example. The charter can be thought of as an association’s constitution. The goal of the association, the activities to be carried out by the association, the obligations of the association’s board of directors, fundraising, project creation, presidential election, internal audit, and so on should all be contained in the statute. Otherwise, if you engage in any conduct that is contradictory to the statute of the organisation, you would face a minimum penalty of 1730 TL.

The legislation explicitly states the mandatory charter clauses that must be included in the association’s charter. In addition to the obligatory charter articles in the legislation, describing the association’s charter will broaden the scope of the association you have formed. This can provide an opportunity to earn extra money in order to meet your objectives. As a result, we propose that anyone interested in forming an association speak with an authorized and professional consultant firm, particularly throughout the statute-drafting phase.

So, what are the mandatory charter articles that those who say how to establish an association should fill in

  • Association Name: If there is a name and abbreviation of the association, it is written as the first article of the statute. You must fulfill the requirements at the end of the article for the determination of the name of the association.
  • Center of the Association: An explanation text is written about where the headquarters of the association will be. You can also specify in this article or in a separate article whether it will be branched or unbranched and whether there are overseas activities if a branch is to be opened.
  • Purpose of the Association: In this article, you should specify the purpose for which 7 people came together to establish an association. It should pay attention at this stage whether the purpose of the association depends on a period of time. For example; If you make a fundraising association for the construction of a student dormitory, the association may be terminated automatically when the dormitory construction is finished. Elaborating on the objectives of the association will allow you to expand your field of activity.
  • Association Activities and Fields of Activity: You should specify what kind of activities you will carry out in order to realize the objectives of the Association. For example; If you are going to establish a village association, you can list all the activities such as collecting aid, organizing a picnic with the members, organizing a fun night. Such as publishing magazines, opening branches, publishing newspapers, establishing sports clubs, opening localities, establishing economic and administrative enterprises, etc.
  • Forms of Becoming a Member of the Association and Withdrawing from Membership: All details such as who can be a member of the association, the conditions required for the membership of the association, the methods of acceptance and withdrawal from membership are written in this article. In addition, you can include the dues information of the members of the association and the information of the members of the board of directors created in this article.
  • Organs of the Association: Along with the mandatory bodies that must be present in the board of directors of the association, there are non-compulsory association bodies. Details of organs such as the board of directors, the supervisory board, the board of directors shall be specified in this article.
  • Forms and Time of the General Assembly: The general assembly of the association is the most authoritative body of an association. The most important decisions regarding the Association are taken on the basis of the general assembly meeting. Such as the change of the statutes of the association, the election of the president of the association, the reconstitution of the board of directors, etc.
  • Duties of the General Assembly: The procedures and powers for taking decisions in the General Assembly shall be included in this article. You can specify in this article which decisions can be taken in the general assembly.
  • Duties of the Board of Directors: The duties of the bodies such as the board of directors, the supervisory board, etc., which play an active role in the management processes of the Association, the number of principal and substitute members, how these members will be elected and the distribution of duties are mentioned.
  • Presence of the Association Branch: Whether associations can establish branches; If a branch is to be established, it is specified how this will be done.
  • Association Member Dues: Details of the form of entry into the membership of the Association and the dues to be paid annually.
  • Association Borrowing Procedure and Form: Details on how to borrow from the association are shared in this article. In particular, borrowing can be prevented by deducting an annotation.
  • Association Internal Audit Form: The audit of the associations should be carried out at least 1 time a year through the supervisory board. This audit can also be obtained as a service from the external independent audit institution.
  • Amendment of the Statute: The statutes of the association can only be changed at the general assembly. The manner in which and under what circumstances this change can be made may be specified in this article.
  • Liquidation of the Association in Case of Dissolution: In the event of the dissolution of the association, the manner in which the assets belonging to the association will be liquidated shall be written in this article.
How to Establish an Association in Turkey

Things to Do After the Establishment of the Association in Turkey

After submitting the necessary documents above, important processes are waiting for you so that you can proceed to the association management processes. If the associations do not fulfill their duties in these processes, they may face both the danger of termination and surprise penalties. Those who want to establish an association must do the following after the establishment documents.

  • The books of the association must be taken and these books must be notarized or certified by the provincial civil society directorate. Decision book, member register book, business book and document register; It is among the books that must be kept.
  • After the books of the association are taken and approved, all transactions are carried out by dropping them into the decision book. First of all, the president of the association is authorized by the board of directors to obtain the DERBIS password. This authorization decision is recorded in the decision book.
  • A decision is taken to suppress the seal and stamp of the association. It should be round and blue inked.
  • A tax identification number is provided through the tax office.
  • The activity certificate of the association is issued.
  • A bank account is opened and with it the association’s subscriptions such as electricity, water, etc. are carried out.
  • In order to record the expenses and revenues of the association, the receipts of the association are printed by authorized printing houses.
  • If you are going to establish a sports association, the registration of the branch is carried out. (Also applies to the Youth and Sports Association)

Along with the above operations, there may be a number of operations that you need to do to the elder in order to realize the activities and objectives of the association. They are as follows.

  • Opening of the association’s social media accounts
  • Commissioning of the association’s website
  • Obtaining the name and trademark registration of the association (in order not to establish associations close to the name of the association)
  • Organizing the promotion and advertising activities of the Association

Evaluation of the Declaration of Incorporation

When the documents listed above are delivered to the governor in the provinces and the district governor in the districts, the legal entity is acquired, that is, the association is established. The day and time of delivery of these documents is noted by the local authority and the applicant receives a receipt.

Evaluations are completed within 60 days following the notification of the organization. In this evaluation, the statement of incorporation and the correctness of the documents given in addition and the charter are examined. If a number of deficiencies are seen as a result of the examination, the founders are asked to fix them.

Violations of the law must be rectified within 30 days of the founders being asked to complete them. If the deficiency is corrected or if a deficiency is not seen, registration is provided in the register of associations.

If the violations of this law are not corrected as required, the situation shall be notified to the public prosecutor’s office by the civil administration and a case shall be filed in the Civil Court of First Instance for the dissolution of the association.

Cost of Association Formation 2023

The right to form an association is among the most fundamental rights. Therefore, its achievement can not be attributed to large costs. In the above-mentioned procedure, there is no fee expense for the application made to the civil authority. There is no minimum capital as in foundations. There are only a number of paper-stationery expenses.

Determination of the Name of the Association

First of all, you cannot establish an association using the name of an existing association. To inquire whether there is an existing association related to the name of the association you have already considered, you need to call the associations unit. However, now you can perform an association name inquiry via e-government.

Let us now shift our focus to the circumstances that are forbidden by law when choosing an association name.

  • It is forbidden to use the name, emblem or badge of a party, trade union, parent organization or association that has already been dissolved by a court decision.
  • Words such as Türkiye, Türk, Milli, Cumhuriyet, Atatürk, Mustafa Kemal, Şehit, Gazi can be used at the beginning or end of the names of the associations with the permission of the Ministry of Interior.
  • Inclusive activities such as All, All, Whole cannot be used. Also, for sports associations, words such as new or young cannot be brought in addition to the name of an existing association.
  • In addition, due to the proximity of the name of the association to the name of some associations for which the name trademark patent has been obtained regarding the use of the name of the association, a lawsuit may be filed to change the name of the association.

Conditions for Forming an Association

Above, we provided a general explanation of the requirements for creating an association. Now, we aim to present these conditions in a comparative manner by utilizing a table that will juxtapose them with the requirements for establishing a foundation. Specifically, we will outline the differences between the two.

CONDITIONS FOR ESTABLISHING AN ASSOCIATIONCONDITIONS FOR ESTABLISHING A FOUNDATION
It must have a purpose. This goal must be in accordance with law and morality.It must have a purpose. This purpose cannot be contrary to the qualifications of the Republic determined by the Constitution and the basic principles of the Constitution, law, morality, national unity and national interests, or to support members of a certain race or community.
There must be at least 7 people. Founders must have the capacity to act. Legal entities may also take part in the establishment of the association. (We will touch on the conditions related to children’s associations below)It can be installed even with 1 person. Founders can be natural or legal persons. Real person legal entities must have the capacity to act. Legal entity founders must have the authority to establish a foundation in the text of the organization.
It does not require any minimum assets – capital.A minimum amount of assets determined annually must be owned.
No authority does need to give approval – permission for the organization to be completed. With the submission of the necessary documents, the legal entity is acquired.In order for the incorporation to be completed, it must apply to the court for registration and the court must decide in this direction.

Things to Know About the Establishment of the Association

So far, we have talked about the most basic rules regarding the issue of association establishment. Of course, that’s not the point. There is a much more elaborate process. Apart from what we have explained so far, we will touch on some curious topics. Namely;

What should be done after the establishment of the association

As we mentioned above, after the association acquires legal personality, the first general assembly meeting should be held within a period of 6 months and mandatory organs should be established. These two operations to be carried out within a period of 6 months are a legal obligation.

What are the Organs of the Association

There are 3 basic and obligatory organs. These; general assembly, board of directors and supervisory board. In addition, other bodies can be formed taking into account the characteristics of the organization in question. These secondary organs cannot be given the duties and powers of the primary organs.

How many days does it take to establish an association

It is not possible to give a clear timeframe here. The establishment procedures of an association may take long or short depending on the characteristics of the concrete event. The variety of existing legal problems, the preliminary legal basis to be established, the collection of documents, the characteristics of the founders, etc. many factors can have an increasing or decreasing effect on the duration.

Of course, the continuation of the process with the help of a lawyer has a positive result in time. However, in the end, the legal entity is established by submitting the relevant documents to the civil authority.

Commercial Activities of Associations

As we mentioned above, it is not possible to establish associations for profit. There is no profit sharing. Revenues of the Association; It consists of the dues/yearlings paid by the members or the income from the activities or assets of the association and donations and aids.

As it can be understood from here, there are no activities such as profit sharing in associations, but it is possible to obtain some property income in order to continue their activities. The payments received from the members are also an item of income.

The revenues and expenses of the association should be strictly monitored and recorded with documents such as receipts, account statements, receipts. Foundations have more flexible rules at the point of commercial activity.

Opening of Branches of Associations

It is possible to open branches where necessary. For this, the decision of the general assembly must be taken. For this purpose, the board of founders of 3 people authorized by the board of directors transmits the necessary documents and declaration of establishment for the establishment of the branch to the largest civil authority of the place where the branch will be opened.

The documents required to open a branch are as follows:

  • If there is a legal entity among the founders of the branch; Photocopy of the decision taken in this regard, provided that the title, place of residence and certificate of establishment of this legal entity and the natural person authorized by the bodies of the legal entities are also specified
  • If there are foreign nationals among the founders; photocopies of documents confirming that they have the right to settle in Turkey
  • A list of the members of the temporary board of directors and the name, surname, place of residence and signatures of the person or persons authorized to receive correspondence and notifications
  • If a children’s association is being established; document confirming the permission of the legal representatives of the founders
  • Photocopy of the decision of the board of directors of the association taken for the persons authorized as founders

The number of documents to be submitted is the same as the number of association establishment documents mentioned above. It is possible to compare the association establishment and the branch organization in tabular form. Namely;

ASSOCIATION ESTABLISHMENTBRANCH ESTABLISHMENT
A minimum of 7 people is required.An authorized team of at least 3 people is required.
The required documents are also extra, as are the statute and issues related to foreign legal entities.The required documents are the same except for those listed on the side.
It is organically the top of the branch.He is an organic subordinate of the association.
It is established with the submission of the necessary documents to the civil authority.If the documents are examined and deficiencies are detected, the branch cannot be opened.

Establishment of Associations by Foreigners

Foreign real persons who have the right to settle in Turkey can establish associations or become members of associations that have already been established. Again, the procedures mentioned above apply.

As we mentioned above, if there are foreign nationals among the founders; Photocopies of the documents proving that they have the right to settle in Turkey shall be submitted to the local authority during the application.

Foreign Associations to Open Branches in Turkey

Foreign associations can open branches in Turkey. Permission must be obtained from the Ministry of Internal Affairs in this regard. The Ministry of the Interior obtains the opinion of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before granting permission. Foreign associations that have received permission in this way can operate and cooperate in Turkey, open branches, establish parent organizations and join the established parent organizations.

Children’s Associations

Children’s associations can also be established. Minors who have completed the age of 15 with the power of discrimination may, with the permission of their legal representatives, establish a children’s association in relation to certain areas or become members of those already established.

Children who have completed the age of 12 can be a member of children’s associations, but cannot take part in stages such as establishment – management. In addition, legal entities cannot be members or founders of children’s associations or branches.

How to Establish Women’s Branches of the Association

As we mentioned above, it is possible to establish other organs in the association other than the compulsory organs. Such branches may be established provided that they are related to the activities and purpose of the Association. Women’s arms are among them. Some details about the women’s branches of the association should also be included in the statute.

The Difference Between the Foundation and the Association

FOUNDATION (Vakıf)ASSOCIATION
It is a collection of assets. Issues related to assets come to the fore.It is a collection of people. The number and organization of persons comes to the fore.
Even 1 person can establish a foundation.At least 7 people can form an association.
Membership in foundations is not allowed.Membership is essential. Members have a number of rights and obligations.
It is established by court decision.It is established with the notification to the local supervisor, that is, without the need for permission – approval.
It can be established by death savings or promissory notes.It is established by the submission of the charter and a number of documents to the administration.
Commercial activity may be carried out under certain conditions.Earnings cannot be distributed or profit-driven. Their income is limited.

The Right and Authority of Associations to Collect Donations in Turkey

Associations hold a significant place among civil society organizations in Turkey. For associations to carry out their activities, they need various resources, one of which is donations. However, the right and authority of associations to collect donations are subject to certain legal regulations.

Permission to Collect Donations

The permission for associations to collect donations is granted by the Directorate of Associations (Dernekler Müdürlüğü in Turkish) or the Directorate of Public Relations (Toplumla İlişkiler Müdürlüğü in Turkish). This permission allows associations to legally collect donations.

Donation Collection Process

The donation collection process begins with the planning and implementation of fundraising activities by the board of directors.

This process is carried out through the Directorate of Associations (Dernekler Müdürlüğü) or the Directorate of Public Relations (Toplumla İlişkiler Müdürlüğü).

Donation Amount

There is no specific limitation on the donation amount. However, the amount of donations collected by associations depends on the amount needed for the associations to carry out their activities. This amount can vary depending on the field of activity, goals, and projects of the association.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Do associations have the right to collect donations

Yes, associations have the right to collect donations. However, this right is subject to a permit granted by the Directorate of Associations (Dernekler Müdürlüğü) or the Directorate of Public Relations (Toplumla İlişkiler Müdürlüğü).

2. How does the donation collection process work

The donation collection process begins with the planning and implementation of fundraising activities by the board of directors. This process is carried out through the Directorate of Associations (Dernekler Müdürlüğü) or the Directorate of Public Relations (Toplumla İlişkiler Müdürlüğü).

3. How much should the donation amount be

There is no specific limitation on the donation amount. However, the amount of donations collected by associations depends on the amount needed for the associations to carry out their activities. This amount can vary depending on the field of activity, goals, and projects of the association.

4. How to obtain permission to collect donations

Permission to collect donations is granted by the Directorate of Associations (Dernekler Müdürlüğü) or the Directorate of Public Relations (Toplumla İlişkiler Müdürlüğü). Associations can apply to these directorates to obtain permission to collect donations.

5. What documents are required to obtain permission to collect donations

The documents required to obtain permission to collect donations include the application form, association statute, board of directors decision, and fundraising activity plan. These documents should be submitted to the Directorate of Associations (Dernekler Müdürlüğü) or the Directorate of Public Relations (Toplumla İlişkiler Müdürlüğü) during the application process.