10 May 2024

Rights of Detained Non-Turkish Citizens


Detention refers to the temporary restriction of a person's liberty by law enforcement upon the prosecutor's instruction, without a judge's order, but only under certain conditions and for a limited period. Detention is considered a normal measure during the investigation stages.

The Criminal Procedure Code contains provisions on the fundamental rights that all persons, whether Turkish citizens or not, have while in detention. The rights of a detained person have been discussed in a separate article. A non-Turkish citizen has all the rights mentioned in that article. In addition, certain additional rights appropriate to their situation have been granted to non-Turkish citizens. These are listed below:

Right to an Interpreter: A person who cannot speak Turkish fluently has the right to have an interpreter present during their statement or interrogation. This interpreter must be provided free of charge.

Right to Consular Notification: A detained foreign national has the right to notify a consular official of their own country. This procedure must be carried out unless the detained person explicitly objects to it.


The Republic of Turkey has a legal framework that ensures that all persons, whether Turkish citizens or not, have fundamental rights while in detention. These rights are clearly stated in the Criminal Procedure Code and must be scrupulously observed by law enforcement. It is important for non-Turkish citizens who are detained to be aware of these rights and to appeal to the competent authorities if their rights are violated.

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