LAW REPORT: Turkish worker had right of residence while seeking work

LAW REPORT: 5 February 1997

Tetik v Land Berlin; European Court of Justice; 23 January 1997

A Turkish worker who had been legally employed for more than four years in a European Union member state enjoyed a right of residence in that state enabling him, if he decided voluntarily to leave his employment, to spend a reasonable period seeking new employment, provided he continued to be registered as belonging to that state's labour force and complied with the relevant requirements of its employment legislation.

The European Court of Justice so ruled on a reference by the German Bundesverwaltungsgericht in the case of Recep Tetik, a Turkish national.

Mr Tetik had been legally employed as a seaman on various German ships, obtaining from the German authorities successive residence permits, each for a specified period and limited to employment in shipping. His last permit was valid until 4 August 1988 and stated that it would expire on cessation of his employment in German shipping.

On 20 July 1988, Mr Tetik left his job as a seaman. On 1 August, he moved to Berlin and applied for an unlimited residence permit for the purpose of engaging in gainful employment on land. That application was refused by the competent authorities of the Land Berlin. The legality of that decision was confirmed by the Verwaltungsgericht and Oberverwaltungsgericht Berlin.

On Mr Tetik's appeal, the Bundesverwaltungsgericht referred the matter to the European Court of Justice for a ruling on the intepretation and effect on this case of article 6 of Decision No 1/80 of the Council of the EEC/Turkey Association.

The Council was established under the Agreement establishing an Association between the European Community and Turkey, signed at Ankara on 12 September 1963, and concluded on behalf othe Community by Council Decision 64/732/ EEC of 23 December 1963.

According to that agreement, "the contracting parties agree to be guided by articles 48, 49 and 50 of the [EEC Treaty] for the purpose of progressively securing the freedom of movement for workers between them".

Decision No 1/80 did not give Turkish workers full freedom of movement within the Community but it did confer certain rights on Turkish workers in a member state which they had lawfully entered and in which they had been legally employed for a certain period.

The court had consistently held that the rights which article 6 of Decision No 1/80 conferred on a Turkish worker in regard to employment necessarily implied the existence of a right of residence for the person concerned. Article 6 had direct effect in the member states and Turkish nationals who satisfied its conditions might therefore rely on it before national courts.

The situation at issue in this case was that of a Turkish worker who, having been legally employed for almost eight years in a member state, enjoyed "free access . . . to any paid employment of his choice" in that state, pursuant to the third indent of article 6(1).

Under that provision he had not only the right to respond to a prior offer of employment but also the unconditional right to seek and take up any employment he chose, without any possibility of this being subject to priority for workers from the member states.

The court had already held, with regard to the free movement of workers who were nationals of member states, that article 48 of the EEC Treaty entailed the right for such workers to reside in another member state for the purpose of seeking employment there.

In accordance with the EEC/Turkey Agreement, the principles enshrined in the Treaty provisions on the free movement of workers who were nationals of member states must, so far as possible, inform the treatment of Turkish workers who enjoyed the rights conferred by Decision No 1/80.

In order to give full effect to article 6, a Turkish worker must, after at least four years of legal employment in a member state, be entitled to reside in that state for a reasonable period while seeking new employment, since his right of free access to any paid employment of his choice within the meaning of that provision would otherwise be deprived of substance.

It was for the national authorities or courts of the host member state to determine how long that reasonable period should be, but it must be sufficient not to jeopardise the Turkish worker's prospects of finding new employement.

Paul Magrath, Barrister

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

E150/2014 - English Language Checker (Grade B3)

On Application: Council of Europe: The European Court of Human Rights’s judgme...

Marketing Executive

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Charter Selection: A professional services company ...

Project Manager - Bristol South West

£400 - £450 per day: Orgtel: Project Manager (PM), Key Banking Client, Retail ...

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor