Press Release

The International Labour Organization (ILO) for Turkey and the Social Security Institution (SSI) extend their partnership to support employees’ access to social protection

Press release | 27 July 2021
© Kıvanç Özvardar / ILO
The ILO Office for Turkey and SSI have extended their partnership to jointly support additional 7,500 employees to access social protection through ILO Office for Turkey’s Transition to Formality flagship programme, also known as KIGEP (Kayıtlı İstihdama Geniş Programı).

Over the last two years, more than 9,274 employees and 1,277 employers benefited through KIGEP, providing essential support during the COVID-19 pandemic to gain access to formal employment as well as to retain existing employment.

Based on the increasing need for combating high level of informal employment and promoting formal jobs in Turkish labour market, through this extended partnership with SSI, 7,500 additional employees, including Syrian refugees and migrants with international protection status, will gain access social security. Until the end of 2022, a total of 13 million USD (112 million TL) will be transferred to businesses through SSI to help the creation of new formal jobs as well as the retention of existing jobs.

Numan Özcan, Director of the ILO Office for Turkey, emphasized that that these are much more than numbers, these are real people we are supporting to improve their lives together with our long-time partner SSI. He added that “The extension of social security is our common goal with SSI. Providing a social protection floor that ensures access to health care and income security is key for keeping and improving the quality of jobs. We will foster our partnership and continue to use social protection as a catalyst for decent work conditions for all

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, KIGEP has achieved the envisaged targets and has continued to support both the employers and employees through the incentives scheme. The scheme among other, includes administrative and financial support for employers enabling them to apply for work permits for their Syrian employees while continuing the support through social security contributions for both Syrian and Turkish employees. KIGEP has been implemented so far across 14 cities through project offices in SSI provincial directorates and using tailored online platforms developed by SSI.

We aim to extend the social protection while protecting our society, providing dynamic social security needs and avoiding from risks. We are proud to extend the social security for more people to have formal employment, with our expert staff and strong informatics infrastructure in cooperation with the ILO Office for Turkey” said Dr. Muhiddin Şahin, SSI Director General for Strategic Development Department adding that, there is always a human centred approach in social protection.


Initiated in 2019, the KIGEP is an incentive scheme for employers who formally employ Turkish and Syrian workers. It is implemented by the SSI and the ILO Office for Turkey in coordination with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Directorate of International Labour Force (DGILF). It is currently financed by the Federal Republic of Germany through the KfW Development Bank and U.S Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (USBPRM) and implemented within the project “Promoting Decent Work for Syrians under Temporary Protection and Turkish Citizens” and “Decent Work Opportunities for Refugees and Host Communities in Turkey”. To date KIGEP has been implemented across 14 cities, Adana, Ankara, Aydın, Bursa, Gaziantep, İstanbul, İzmir, Kahramanmaraş, Konya, Kayseri, Manisa, Mersin, Osmaniye, Şanlıurfa through ILO Office for Turkey and SSI provincial directorates’ coordination and using tailored online platforms developed by SSI.

For more info please contact:

Kıvanç Özvardar Bahar-Communication Officer-ILO Office for Turkey:
Dr. Mümine Nurdan Doğukan, Head of Department, SSI :