Life at the 'Lik: Work permits

An Airman fills out a work permit form Oct. 8, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. In order for service members, federal employees or their family members to work off-base they must obtain a work permit authorized by Turkey’s Ministry of Labor or face penalties ranging from fines to deportation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr./Released)

An Airman fills out a work permit form Oct. 8, 2013, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. In order for service members, federal employees or their family members to work off-base they must obtain a work permit authorized by Turkey’s Ministry of Labor or face penalties ranging from fines to deportation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr./Released)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey -- Editor's note: This article is part of a series designed to provide in-depth information to both current and future members of Team Incirlik about topics specific to Incirlik and Turkey. The goal is to assist Airmen and families in making informed decisions about their move to the area and to provide guidance about local policies, procedures and quality of life matters.

The United States' tactical position at Incirlik AB has been strategically important to U.S. and NATO operations throughout this region and beyond and is one reason why we have a Status of Forces Agreement with the host nation to allow military members, dependents and other federal workers to reside here.

However, this agreement does not grant authorization for military members, federal workers or their families to work on the Turkish economy.

"Working off-base without prior authorization from the Ministry of Labor is illegal," said Capt. Samuel Siavoshi, 39th Air Base Wing Judge Advocate office assistant staff judge advocate. "You are required to submit an application for a work permit before beginning any employment activity here."

Savioshi said that while the opportunity to earn some extra cash by working without a permit maybe tempting, breaking law the can bring serious penalties.

"The punishment for violation can quite severe, and the Ministry of Labor has begun to crack down on offenders," he explained. "Punishments can include heavy fines and even deportation out of the country."

Siavoshi recommended taking advantage of the jobs on base before looking elsewhere.

"Military spouses, family members and current Air Force employees coming with their spouses have the opportunity to seek employment," said Charlotte Kinser, 39th Air Base Wing human resources officer. "They're not considered external applicants, so they're not subject to the hiring freeze. If there's a job out there and somebody who wants work, we will help them work."

There are a variety of opportunities for employment that exist on base to include non-appropriated funds positions, civil service positions or opening a home business.

NAF employees at Incirlik hold several positions at 39th Force Support Squadron facilities. Because these are not federal civil service (GS) jobs, they are not included in civilian hiring freezes. The salaries from these positions are generated from the revenue of 39th FSS establishments. The possible employment locations for NAF jobs are listed below.

Bowling Center
Child Development Center
Club Complex
Community Activities Center
Golf Course
Library
Lodging
Marketing and Design
NAF Accounting Office
NAF Human Resources
Youth Programs

To learn about available openings, click here and select "Incirlik" in the location tab.

Another option for employment are civil service positions. While there is currently a civil service hiring freeze, there are several critical positions that open periodically due to permanent change of station moves. The 39th FSS updates their vacancy site weekly. Those seeking employment can access the site here or visit usajobs.org.

There are some family members who are skilled in certain areas that just don't fit into any base employment opportunity. For those people, a home-based business might be their best choice. From cookies and cakes to dog walking services and tutors, there are many goods and services available at Incirlik through those who have home businesses.

Those looking to run a home business must visit the base housing office and complete a request for approval before operating. Violators of this requirement are subject to fines and judicial actions. Also, check with the Official Document Center before attempting to have business-related goods shipped to an APO address. There are certain restrictions on what the military postal service can and cannot be used for, such as items for re-sale, distribution or materials used to construct any item for re-sale or distribution.