25 Oct

Salient Features Of Turkish Constitution :

Introduction :

The Constitution of the Republic of Tukiye also known as the Constitution of 1982 is Tukiye's fundamental law. It establishes the organization of the government and sets out the principles and rules of the states conduct along with tis responsibilities towards it's citizens. The constitution of Turkey was ratified on November 7,1982. It replaced the earlier Constitution of 1961. Since its founding, the modern Turkiye has been governed under four document.

  1. The Constitution of 1921
  2. The Constitution of 1924
  3. The Constitution of 1961
  4. The Constitution of 1982

Salient Features of Turkish Constitution :

Founding Principles :

The Constitution asserts that Turkiye is a secular and and democratic republic that derives its sovereignty from people. The sovereignty rests with "Turkish Nation" who delegates its exercise to an elected unicameral Parliament.

The Article 4 declares the immovability of the founding principles of the Republic defined in first three Articles and bans any proposals for their modification. The basic founding principles of secular democracy are.

  1. Social Equality
  2. Equality before law
  3. The Republican form of government
  4. The indivisibility of the Republic and of Turkish nation

Thus, it sets out a unitary nation-state based on the principles of secular democracy.

Separation of Power :

Turkish Constitution establishes a separation of powers between the legislative, Executive and judicial powers. The separation of powers between the legislative and executive is a loose are whereas the on between the executive and Judiciary is strict one similar is the case with legislature and judiciary.

Fundamental Rights :

Part Two of the Constitution is the bill of Rights. Many of those entrenched rights have their basis in international bills of rights such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which Turkiye was one of the first nation to ratify in December 1948.

Equality of Citizens :

Beside the provisions establishing Turkiye as a secular state, Article 10 goes further with regards to equally of its citizens by prohibiting any discrimination based on their language, race , color , sex, political opinion or religious belief and guaranteeing their equality in the eyes of law.

Freedom of  Expression :

Article 26 of Turkish Constitution establishes freedom of expression whereas , Article 27 discussion about freedom of science and Art. Besides, Article 28 defines in detail the freedom of the press and electronic media while Article 33 and 34 affirm the freedom of association and freedom of assembly, respectively.

Group Rights :

The Turkish Constitution affirms the right of workers to form labor unions "without obtaining permission " and " to possess the right to become a ;member and to freely withdraw from membership", as defined in Article 51. Besides Article 53 and 54 affirm the right of workers to bargain collectively and to strike and lockout, respectively.

Legislative Powers :

Article7  of Turkish Constitution provides for the establishment of a unicameral parliament which is the sole organ of sovereign people.

Article 6 of Turkish Constitution states that the sovereignty belongs to the nation without any restriction or condition. The Constitution affirms that " sovereignty is vested fully and unconditionally in the nation " and that "The Turkish Nation shall exercise  its sovereignty through the authorized organs, as prescribed by the principles laid down in the constitution."

Judiciary :

Article 9 of the Turkish Constitution affirms that the "Judicial Power shall be exercised by independent courts on behalf of the Turkish Nation.

The Judiciary conforms to the principle of separation of powers not only through its independence from the executive and legislative Branch of government but by being divided into two entities, Administrative Justice and Judicial Justice with the Danistay (the council of the state) the highest court for the former and Yargistay (high court of Appeals) the highest court for latter.

 Executive :

According to Article 8, the executive power is vested in he President of the Republic and the council of Ministers.

Part 3, chapter 1, section 2 and Articles 109 to 116 lays down the rules for the functioning of governments as the executive comprising the Prime Minister and council of Ministers.

National Security :

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) are subordinate to the President in he capacity of commander-in-chief. The chief of General Staff of the TAF is responsible to the Prime Minister in het exercise of his functions and the latter is responsible along with their rest of Council of Ministers before the parliament.

In Turkiye, National Security Council act as an advisory organization comprising the chief-of general Staff and the four main commander of the TAF and this organization selects members of the Council of Ministers to develop the "National Security Policy of the state.

Revision :

The Article 175 of Turkish Constitution sets out the procedure of its own revision and amendments by either referendum or a qualified majority role of two-thirds in the National Assembly. It does not recognize the right to popular initiatives: Only the members of Parliament can propose modifications to the constitution.

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