Law on Private Detectives and Investigators in Turkey

We are often asked whether it is legal to hire a private investigator / detective in Turkey? And the simple answer is “there is no law regulating rights, obligations, responsibilities, licensing or ethical codes of private detectives or private detective agencies in Turkey”. However, there are many service providers which cover the whole spectrum of investigations. The question of what services a private investigator /detective can offer legally, by staying within the law in Turkey, in 2023, is where confusion can often arise. If you are hiring a private investigator, or you believe you’re being investigated, knowing what a private detective can and cannot do is important.

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Law on Private Detectives and Investigators in Turkey

One may ask whether there is an array of tactics and methods private detectives, also known as private investigators, can obtain the information needed without breaking any laws in Turkey and ensuring no breach of human rights or data protection?

There are a lot of myths that people believe about private investigators. In the movies, private eyes may break into buildings to get information, follow people and take photos of what’s happening inside a home, or perform other acts that real private investigators aren’t allowed to do. In fact, the services we see on TV such as trespassing, phone tapping, computer hacking or obtaining personal records are highly illegal.

What is and isn’t legal? 

Official records

Accessing someone’s criminal, medical, banking or financial history is strictly illegal and highly unethical. Instead, to try and build up a picture of someone’s history and their previous actions.

Private detectives can only review and unpick publicly available records, online searches and social media. Using a wide variety of public records enables them to piece together a full picture of a person to alleviate any fears or concerns.

They might be working for someone who is concerned about a new love interest of a family member and would just like to know a little more to protect the person they love. Building a fully rounded picture of that person is often more helpful than simply knowing whether they have any previous convictions.

The work of the private detectives within th boundaries of law is something that’s easily done by service seekers if they have knowledge about open public sourses such as court houses, registry offices and libraries. However, one should be aware about the fact that since there is a huge amount of public information available, it is valuable knowing where to look and how to analyse the information in front of you.

Phone and computer hacking

It is both illegal and unethical to hack someone’s phone or computer and this is not a service that any reputable private investigator would offer. Be wary of any private investigator who offers products such as apps and programmes for electronic equipment designed to hack information. Not only are they breaking the law, selling you this type of equipment, you are also breaking the law when using it. Often this type of software, is in fact a scam and you can find ourselves ripped off by rogue investigators selling software that simply doesn’t work.


Under no circumstances should a private investigator enter into a private home or workplace without permission. No matter how important the case, this is trespassing in the eyes of Turkish law and also completely unethical. All investigations can only be done in public places or using public records and information.

After all, clients of detectives must be advised that evidence obtained illegally, irrespective of its value, will likely be challenged at Court and disallowed and could harm your case irreparably.

Every case is unique and every situation needs a tailored approach from a trained, experienced lawyer. For a consultation with one of our team about your own personal situation, you can contact us 24 hours a day seven days a week on the contact numbers or email addresses.

Taking photos

Many movies show a private eye following their subject, taking lots of photos as the subject walks around or after they enter a house. Private investigators in real life do take a lot of photos, but they must take place in public. Inside a home, the person has an expectation of privacy, so private investigators cannot take photos through the windows into the home. They also, in many places, cannot take photos of someone in their backyard or in any other place where they could reasonably expect to have privacy. If the person exits the home, the private investigator can begin taking photos again as the person is outside, in public, where there is not an expectation of privacy. Penalties can be severe for private investigators who are found to violate laws relating to the expectation of privacy, so they must understand Turkish laws and what they can and cannot do. 

Hacking into Online Accounts

Private detectives today do a ton of their work online. With public directories and other information freely available, a private investigator can get a lot of information without leaving their office. However, there are limits to the information they can obtain online. A private investigator can check social media accounts to see what is publicly posted. They cannot hack into the social media account to see what has been posted privately or to gain private information about someone. They also cannot hack into email accounts, mobile phones, tablets, personal computers, or other private accounts online to get information about their subject. 

Wearing a Badge or Uniform

Impersonating a police officer or other law enforcement official is a crime. This is why Turkish law does not allow for private detectives to carry a badge, wear a uniform, bear a law enforcement logo or otherwise indicate that they are a law enforcement officer.

Hiring a private detective in Turkey

Irrespective of legal rules, many private detectives are already operating in Turkey. Indeed, private detectives, work for organizations and individuals to find information. They engage in different types of cases, finding legal, personal, or financial information; performing background checks; interviewing people; and engaging in surveillance activities.

It is vital that if you do find yourself hiring a private investigator to collect information about a person or a business, such as looking for birth parents, checking the security of a business for the owner, looking for a missing person, or finding out if a spouse is cheating, you find an agency that knows the intricacies of Turkish law, operates within those laws and has the skill set to legally and responsibly obtain the information that’s needed to help with your investigation.

Corrupt investigators that abuse and blackmail customers create another problem for the investigation sector in Turkey. On emay easily become a victims of fraud. Unscrupulous detectives usually take fees upfront from women who want investigators to spy on their spouses over suspected cheating. Then the detective either blackmails the client by threatening to tell the spouse or secretly revealing to the cheating partner that they have been caught, forcing them to pay up.

Turkey does not have a law regulating investigation sector, which could prevent rotten detectives from defrauding people and tarnishing the private investigation sector. Those corrupt detectives often also hint at their ability to use illegal information-gathering techniques such as wiretapping or using computer malware, which are felonies under Turkish law. If these detectives cannot access these purported techniques then they are also lying to their clients.

Collecting evidence by Lawyers

Lawyers have legal power to hire private detectives on behalf individuals, organizations, and companies for a variety of reasons, such as finding a missing person, investigate facts for a court case, solving fraud cases, investigating workplace incidents, establishing evidence for court cases, or conducting work on a variety of other issues.


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