Five Public Offices in Turkey where You Need a Sworn Translator
As a foreigner living and working in Turkey you can get by reasonably well using your English. While you cannot expect Turkish people to speak English as good as Scandinavian or Dutch people, you can at least make yourself understood with the help of a few Turkish words that you have learned along the way. What’s more, adding those funnily pronounced Turkish words will endear you to your interlocutor since Turks tend to be flattered by foreigners who appear to make an effort to learn their language.
You may have also a personal friend who is fluent in Turkish and willing to help you out with everyday tasks such as shopping, visiting a doctor, going to the bank etc. You can even hire an interpreter for yourself and overcome the language barrier that way. A Turkish interpreter, hired on an hourly or daily basis, can help you with most tasks including getting a Tax ID Number for yourself or your company, but he/she cannot be of help to you in certain public offices where you need to have a sworn/certified interpreter present.
This article talks about 5 public offices where you need to use the services of a sworn Turkish interpreter. The list below is by no means exhaustive; it is possible that you may be required to hire a sworn translator in your dealings with other public or governmental authorities as well. However, the public offices listed below are the ones that are frequently visited by foreigners and require the credentials of a sworn translator.
1. Notaries Public
Almost every foreigner looking to stay in Turkey for an extended period of time will have to visit a Notary Public for one reason or another. When you step into a Notary Public office you’re usually directed to a translation office with which the Notary Public has a working relationship. This is the reason why you see so many translation offices opened in close proximity to a Notary Public. The sworn translator you need in the Notary Public has to have a Sworn Translator’s Certificate issued by that Notary Public. In other words, you cannot bring a sworn translator with you who doesn’t hold a certificate issued by the Notary Public in question. For more information on Turkish sworn translators and Notaries Public in Turkey please see this article.
If, for whatever reason, you’re subpoenaed to appear in a Turkish court, you need to have a sworn Turkish translator present by law. However, the sworn translator in this case should have the credentials issued by the Turkish Ministry of Justice. In other words, the sworn translator that will interpret for you in a Turkish court should be an accredited court translator, not a sworn notary translator. You’re well advised to check this fact before hiring a sworn Turkish translator.
3. Provincial Directorates of Migration Management
The Provincial Directorate of Migration Management Office is the official agency that issues residence permits and deals with citizenship procedures in Turkey. Foreigners looking to extend their stay in Turkey or apply for Turkish citizenship are likely to deal with this government agency. While nowadays most procedures are carried out online using Republic of Turkey’s e-government services, it is nevertheless sometimes necessary for foreigners to meet face-to-face with agency officials, especially when they are invited for an interview. In interviews, foreigners are required to have a sworn translator at present by law, and it’s sufficient for the sworn translator to hold only a Sworn Translator’s Certificate issued by a Notary Public.
4. Land Registry Offices
According to Turkish laws, foreigners wishing to buy and sell real estate in Turkey should have a sworn translator present at the Land Registry Office and the sworn translator’s signature and testimony should be included in the title deed registry records. Until 2013, such procedures could be carried out with a sworn translator holding a Sworn Translator’s Certificate issued by any Notary Public, however following the amendments to the law in 2013 only a sworn translator accredited by the Turkish Ministry of Justice, meaning a sworn translator listed on the Justice Ministry’s database, are allowed to be entrusted with such interpreting tasks. For this reason, it’s important that you ask your real estate agent to check the sworn translator’s credentials before the sales procedure.
5. Marriage Registry Offices
By law, foreigners marrying Turkish nationals should have a sworn translator present at the marriage ceremony. Marriage ceremonies are conducted at the office of the registrar of civil marriages and a sworn translator holding a Sworn Translator’s Certificate issued by a Notary Public located in the same county as the Marriage Registry Office will suffice for the performance of such procedures.
At Turkolocal we have at your disposal a team of qualified sworn notary and court translators with right governmental credentials. We can send you the right interpreter based on our expert knowledge and your specific requirements. Feel free to contact us via email.