Table of Contents in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia

Turkey in Asia

According to the work “Guide to Foreign and International Citations”, by the Journal of International Law and Politics (New York University School of Law):

Turkey is a republican parliamentary democracy comprised of eighty-one Provinces.
Each Province (il; plural iller) is subdivided into Districts (ilçe) and Townships or Communes
(bucak). Turkey’s official language is Turkish. Its legal system is based on the civil law

The Constitution, promulgated on November 7, 1982, establishes the form of government.
Legislative power is vested in the unicameral Grand National Assembly (Buyuk Millet Meclisi).

The 550 Members of the National Assembly are directly elected by the people to five-year terms. The National Assembly may decide to hold new elections any time before the end of its regular term. Under certain circumstances, the President of the Republic may also call for new elections.

The National Assembly oversees the executive branch by means of questions (soru), oral
questions with debate (genel gorüşme), parliamentary investigations (meclis araştırması),
parliamentary inquiries (meclis soruşturması), and interpellations (gensoru). It also controls the
national budget. Rejection of the budget bill is considered an indirect vote for censure of the
Council of Ministers.

Executive authority is vested in the Government. The President of the Republic, who is
the head of state, is elected by the National Assembly to a seven-year term. The Council of
Ministers (Bakanlar Kurulu) is composed of the Prime Minister, who is designated by the
President from among the members of the National Assembly, and other Ministers, who are
nominated by the Prime Minister and appointed by the President. The Council of Ministers must obtain a vote of confidence in the Assembly in order to operate. The executive branch enacts regulations, bylaws, and various other rules or supplemental legislation.

This is referred to as the regulative power of the executive ((yürütme organının düzenleme yetkisi). All presidential decrees must be counter-signed by the Prime Minister and the specific Ministers concerned.

Many of the President’s other powers require the participation of the Prime Minister and other
Ministers concerned, who thus assume political responsibility for those decisions. One important power of the President that does not involve participation of the Council of Ministers is the dissolution of the National Assembly, effected when conditions set forth in the Constitution are met.

Judicial power is vested in the courts, which include the Constitutional Court, the Court
of Cassation (Yargıtayın İçtihadı Birleştirme Kararı), the High Court of Appeals (Yargitay), the
Council of State (Danistay), the Court of Accounts (Sayistay), the Military High Court of
Appeals, and the Military High Administrative Court.

The Constitutional Court has exclusive jurisdiction to determine the constitutionality of laws, statutory decrees, and the standing orders of the National Assembly. The Constitutional Court also reviews constitutional amendments to determine whether they comply with the procedural rules, tries impeachment cases, and determines the constitutionality of political party activity. It is composed of eleven regular and four alternate members. Some of its members are appointed by the President of the Republic. A majority of its members, however, are nominated by the other high courts.

Turkey Online Legal Resources

Turkish Law Websites

Turkish Embassies

Turkish Political Parties

Note: We linked the resources to archive.org in an effort to decrease the number of broken links cited.

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