Health and Retirement Insurance

Boğaziçi University does not issue health insurance nor does it have a requirement that you have your own health insurance coverage.

The health insurance provided to the instructors of the University is issued by the Reğublic of Turkey, General Health Organization (SGK). To be eligible for insurance from the SGK, you must be legally employed in Turkey. Once you have arrived at the University and signed your contract, it takes roughly two weeks before you can use the heath insurance, for reasons explained below.

First Time Employment in Turkey

The first time you are employed by the Republic of Turkey, you must go through the same bureaucratic procedures as any citizen of the Republic. The procedures begin when you sign your contract with Boğaziçi University. The Personnel Office sends your data to the SGK, where it is processed by the individual directorates. You are registered for taxes, universal health insurance, unemployment insurance, and pension benefits.


The SGK is a large organization that includes the Directorate of Social Security, the Directorate of Health Insurance, and the Directorate of Pensions. To receive payment of your salary, you must be registered with the SGK so that you pay into the system. The government deducts all taxes and premiums from the salary automatically.

Health Insurance

When you begin work in Turkey, there is a delay of about two months before your health insurance is functional. Here is why:

In order for you to have full health coverage by the SGK, you must be present in the SGK system for a minimum of 30 days. Salaries are paid by Boğaziçi on the 15th of each month. The monthly insurance premiums are paid by the University on the 7th of each month. So, for example, if your official employment start date is 30 September, you will receive your first salary on 15 October, and your first insurance premium will be paid on 7 November. Your second salary is then paid on 15 November, and your second insurance premium is paid on 7 December. You will have full SGK coverage starting from 8 December, a month after the first premium was paid.

Interim Health Insurance

From the time you enter the country until a month after the first premium has been paid, you will rely on the insurance coverage that you used as part of your work visa application, or you can buy short-term insurance or pay cash for services.

Summer Term Instructors

Summer Term is seven weeks long. If it is your first time teaching in Turkey, you very likely will have left the country by the time the health insurance is ready. For this reason, you need to have your own insurance.


Health Insurance for Dependents

If you have family members that you would like to have included in your health coverage, you must go to the Beşiktaş SGK in person to activate their coverage.  If you do not speak Turkish, taking someone with you that can will make things much easier.


Beşiktaş SGK: Atatürk Bulvarı No. 17, Zeyrek, Fatih.

SGK Website 



The Boğaziçi University Health Center

Boğaziçi University has a well-equipped Health Center located at the South Campus that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You do not need to have SGK coverage to visit the Health Center as long as you can prove you are employed by the university.

Telephone:  (0212) 359 44 40, all hours.  


All state hospitals accept SGK health insurance. Many private hospitals also do, albeit to varying degrees. English may or may not be spoken.

A good state hospital located close to Boğaziçi University’s South Campus is the Metin Sabanci Baltalimani Bone Disorders Teaching and Research Hospital (Metin Sabancı Baltalimani Kemik Hastalıkları Eğitim ve Arastırma Hastanesi), with a full compliment of services, including a family practitioners, nutrition and diet specialists, neurology and neurosurgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, dermatology, dentistry, physical therapy, general surgery, cardiology, psychology, and sports medicine.

Rumeli Hisarı Caddesi No. 62, Baltalimanı, Telephone: (0212) 323 70 75.


How to Make an Appointment at a State Hospital

Be prepared to show your Foreigner’s ID number. Call 182, the number for the Hospital Appointment Center (Hastane Randevu Merkezi), or go online to the online reservation system. Both are in Turkish, so you may want a Turkish speaking friend to assist you. Another option is to go directly to the hospital of your choice early in the morning and make an appointment in person.



Under Turkish law, all international faculty employed by state universities are entitled to severance pay and social security coverage upon retirement provided that certain criteria are met. As the criteria for severance pay changes based on the duration of a faculty member’s employment, and as the criteria for retirement coverage changes based on a faculty members age and gender, the best source of information regarding these two issues is the Social Security Institution (SGK) itself.

For online information in English, go to SGK website, and then to their English language portal, or go in person to the Unkapanı SGK Office.


Unkapanı SGK Office: Atatürk Bulvarı No. 17, Zeyrek, Fatih (0212) 534 69 30