Legal and political structure
Turkey is a republic founded on secular, democratic and pluralistic laws. It was established in 1923 and first adopted its constitution in 1924. The government is run on a parliamentary system of government that protects human rights and freedom of expression. In 1961, the country adopted another constitution that introduced the bicameral parliament that hosts the national assembly that has 450 deputies and the senate with 150 elected members by the general ballot while 15 are elected by the president. In 1982 the third constitution was adopted through a national referendum whereby the sovereignty is fully and unconditionally vested in the nation.
Parliament has since passed many amendments to the 1982 constitution to expand the people’s democratic rights and freedom of expression. This has also been accelerated with the countries acceptance to join the EU and as full talks began in 2005.
The Grand National Assembly (TGNA) comprising of the national assembly and the senate holds the legislative power. Parliamentary elections are held every four years before electing the 550 deputies of the TGNA. They represent the whole nation and are required to take an oath before taking over their duties in parliament. Functions of The Grand National Assembly (TGNA) are as follows
Write new laws
Amend and repeal existing laws
Oversee the cabinet AKA council of ministers and authorise them to issue certain government decrees
Debate of budgetary approvals
Prepare budgetary proposals
Make decisions on currency printing
Ratify international agreements
Declare war, martial law or crisis rule
Proclamation of amnesties and pardons according to the constitution after a successful 3/5 vote
The Turkish executive consists of two arms; The President and the Council of ministers or cabinet. The President of the Republic of Turkey is the head of state and represents the unity of the country. He is elected by the Turkish Grand National Assembly deputies who are more than 40 years of age, are Turkish citizens and have completed higher education. The President must garner the popular vote to be declared the winner. The President is elected in office for a period of five years and can vie for another term last term. He is responsible for upholding the constitution and has powers linked to the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The executive also has the cabinet or council of ministers and also a Prime Minister appointed by the President of the Republic from the TGNA. Ministers are nominated the by the Prime Minister and appointed by the President who can also relieve them from duties if the Prime Minister recommends so. The core duties of the council of ministers are to implement internal and foreign policies of the government.
The Turkish judicial system is independent and is based on the rule of law. The judges enjoy security of tenure and they perform their duties independently. The legislative and the executive are not exempted from the rule of law and must comply promptly by the judicial decisions. The judicial is also divided onto three sections; the administrative, legal and special divisions. According to the Turkish constitution, there are six supreme courts. These are
The constitutional court
The council of state
The supreme courts of Appeal
The supreme military court of appeal
The supreme military administrative court
The court of Jurisdictional conflicts
Other special courts with additional functions are The Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors and the Supreme Council of Public Accounts as set out in the constitution.