Work-related whistle-blowing in democratic societies context: A comparative study of international, EU and Turkish law

Kadriye Bakirci (Faculty of Law, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Publication date: 7 October 2019



Turkey is required by the international and EU instruments and domestic law to address the issue of whistle-blowing and the protection of whistle-blowers. The purpose of this paper is to analyse Turkish legislation which is applicable to work-related whistle-blowing, the conflict between the worker’s right to “blow the whistle” and the obligation to loyalty and confidentiality. The consequences of groundless or deliberate false disclosures are considered. Comparisons are made with international conventions, the COE Recommendation CM/Rec(2014)7 and the Proposed EU Directive on the Protection of Whistleblowers and ECtHR precedents.


In the first part, this paper reviews the definition of whistle-blowing and whistle-blower. The second part outlines the impact of international and EU Law on Turkish legislation. The third part reviews the Turkish legal framework applicable to whistle-blowing.


Whistle-blowing in the public interest is suggested as a tool to combat corruption worldwide. There is no doubt that some whistle-blowers have been beneficial to society. However without democratic structures to take into account the assessment of the quality of the information, the type of the disclosure and the category of the reporting person, there are downsides to excessive whistle-blowing. Therefore, whistle-blowing should be discussed in the context of democratic societies, and a balanced approach should be adopted to ensure the position of not only whistle-blowers but also the people affected by the reports.


The paper offers new insights into the limits of work-related whistle-blowing within the context of freedom of expression and the right of employees and public officials to petition. The protection of whistle-blowers and the consequences of groundless or deliberate false disclosures under Turkish Law from a comparative perspective are considered.



This research is supported by the Turkish Scientific and Technological Research Council’s international post-doctoral research grant.


Bakirci, K. (2019), "Work-related whistle-blowing in democratic societies context: A comparative study of international, EU and Turkish law", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 1165-1202.

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