Turkish Legal System

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Table of Contents in the Asian Legal Encyclopedia

Turkish Legal System in Asia

Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye), whose official name is Republic of Turkey, is located on Anatolia (Western Asia) and on East Thrace (Southeastern Europe). Its situation at the crossroads of Europe and Asia influenced its legal system. Turkey has a legal system based on the Civil law system, influenced by several European legal systems, notably the Swiss civil code. Turkey, candidate to European Union membership, is also a member of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR); however, the country claims limited derogations on the ratified European Convention on Human Rights.

Legal Research in Turkey: a Guide for Lawyers

In a globalized world, lawyers outside Turkey may come into contact with Turkish law, Turkish lawyers or Turkish clients, and the last would be better served when their lawyers have an understanding of the essential characteristics and aspects of the Turkish legal system. Likewise, in researching Turkish law, it is important for non-Turkish lawyers not to limit their inquiry to their country sources. In addition, instead of looking for precedents, in Turkey lawyers browse first the provisions of the corresponding legislation for an appropriate legal principle applied to the case or Turkish law problem.

Any serious legal issue involving Turkey must require consultation with a lawyer trained and licensed in Turkey. International materials and resources, like this Encyclopedia, however, may provide some familiarity with the basic concepts of the Turkish law, a solid starting point and new perspectives and solutions that are not apparent, sometimes, from within a non-Turkish legal tradition. Their study may help the non-Turkish lawyer to determine the general nature of a problem, and can facilitate a better understanding with the Turkish colleague who may be called in to assist.

Where to Start

General Information about Turkey and their Legal Tradition

Turkey and their People

Read about Turkey and their People here.

Historical Background of Turkey

Overview of the history of Turkey.

Legal Education

Offering a summary of the legal education, including law schools , in Turkey.

Development of Turkish Law

Report on the development of the law in Turkey.

Structures of Turkish Law

It offers a description of the structures of the law in Turkey.

Sources of the Turkish Law

Summary of the sources of Law in Turkey.

Historical Background

More about the history of the Turkish law here.

Enacted Law in Turkey

Read more about the legislation in Turkey.

  • The Turkish Constitution

Learn more about the Constitution of Turkey.

  • Turkey Codes and Statutes

Survey of Turkish Codes and Statutes.

  • Turkey Statutory Decrees

Outline of the Turkey Statutory Decrees.

  • Turkey Regulations

Scope of the Regulations enacted in Turkey.

  • Turkey By-Laws

Observation about the By-Laws in existence in Turkey.

Customary Law

Learn more about the customary law of Turkey.

Case Law as a Source of Law

Analysis of the Case Law in Turkey.

Precedents in Turkey

Evaluation of the role of Precedents in the Turkish legal system.

Doctrine in Turkey

Review of the legal Doctrine in Turkey.

International sources of law

See more about the international sources of law in Turkey and Asia, including International Treaties.

The Turkish Government System

Study of the Government system in existence in Turkey.

Turkish Constitutional Structure

Overview of the Constitutional Structure in Turkey.

Historical Background

Read more about the history of the Government System of the country.

General Characteristics of the Constitution

Constitution of Turkey: the main features.

Human Rights in Turkey

Scope of the Civil and Human rights in the country.

Legislative Branch

The legislative branch proposes laws. Find a description of the Legislative Power in Turkey here.

Structure of the Turkish Legislative Branch

Observation of the structure of the legislative power in Turkey.

Functions and Powers

See more about the role of the legislative power in Turkey here.

Legislative Process

Read how the Turkish legislative procedures work here.

Supervision of the Executive

Learn how the legislative branch supervises the executive branch.

Executive Branch

The executive power proposes laws. Read more.

Head of State in Turkey

The head of state of Turkey is the formal head of the executive, legislature and judiciary of Turkey.

Head of Government in Turkey

The head of government in Turkey is the Prime Minister of Turkey, the political leader of the government of Turkey.

Turkish Council of Ministers

See information about the Cabinet Ministers of Turkey here.

Turkish Local Governments

Review of the local government powers in Turkey. See the definition of local rule here.

Local Organizations of Central Administration

The central administration consists of a number of ministries and other organizations, including local ones. Various departments, offices and divisions are established in each ministry in Turkey. See the definition of centralization here.

Turkish Municipalities

Outlook of the cities, towns, villages and other communities, including municipal courts (when applicable), and their legal authority in Turkey.

Judiciary Branch

The judiciary power interprets and applies laws. Find here a review of the Judicial System in Turkey.

Main Features of the Judiciary

Read the most important characteristics of the Judiciary system in Turkey here.

Turkey Judicial Structure

Report of the Court Organization and Jurisdiction in Turkey.
The Courts in Turkey may be divided into:

  • High Courts

Description of the functioning of high courts in Turkey.

  • Lower Courts

Summary of the roles of courts of lesser rank.


Information about rules that influence sentencing in Turkey.

Participants in the Administration of Justice

Survey about the players in the Administration of Justice in Turkey and other countries.


Information about the impartial administration of justice, the independence and status of the judiciary and other issues related to Judges in Turkey.

Public Prosecutors

The role of those government officials who represent, in Turkey, legal authorities (often prosecuting criminal actions in Turkey and Asia).

The practice of law

More about the practice of law in Turkey and Asia.

The legal professions

Outline of the legal professions in Turkey and Asia.

Practitioners (Lawyers and others)

Learn about the legal role of practitioners, specially lawyers.

Notary-Public in Turkey

Overview about Public Notaries practising in Turkey.

Court reporter – Clerks

Overview of Court reporters and Clerks in Turkish and Asian courthouses.

Civil Law Procedure

Outlook of the main features of the Turkish civil process, including:

Pretrial Proceedings in Turkey

Information about what pretrial proceedings consist of.

The Trial in Turkey

Review of the judicial examinations in civil or criminal actions in Turkey.

Civil Litigation

Overview of the steps of litigation in Turkey, the litigator’s role and the types of civil litigation in the country here.


Evidence law outline in Turkey.

The Judgment

Outlook of the tribunal decisions in Turkey. For Judgments which are of significance as legal precedents on points of law in Turkey, see precedents.

The Effect of the Judgment

Overview of effects and recognition of a valid judgment delivered by a court of competent jurisdiction in Turkey.

Legal Remedies in Turkey

Enforcement of a legal right ordered by the court. See also the Judicial Relief definition.

Appeals – Judicial Review

Description of the Appeals process and the Judicial Review process of challenging the lawfulness of decisions in Turkey.

Criminal Law Procedure

Observation of the Criminal Process.

The Investigation of Crime

Scope of the investigation of crimes:

The Prosecution of Crime

Crime Prosecution.

Criminal Trials in Turkey

Laws and rules of the administration of justice when a person has been accused of a crime.

Appeals – Judicial Review

When a party files an appeal, asking to review the case:

Alternative Dispute Resolution in Turkey

Method of resolving disputes out-of-court (ADR).

Private Law

Family Law in Turkey

Guide to Marriage Law, Succession Law and other Family Law topics in Turkey.

Contract Law in Turkey

Contracts Law outline in Turkey.

Tort Law in Turkey

Regulating claims by civil wrongs that result in an injury or harm.

Property Law in Turkey

Real property and Personal property law in Turkey.

Copyright and Industrial Property

Survey of industrial and intellectual property laws in Turkey.

Foreign Trade

Regulation of Foreign Trade in Turkey and Asia.

Business Law in Turkey

Besides commercial law and the law of corporations and other entities, this guide provides comprehensive information about:

Criminal Law in Turkey

Penal law involves prosecution for a crime in Turkey and Asia. Find out more.

Family Law in Turkey

Family legal issues including:

  • Divorce and separation
  • Child protection, custody, support and access
  • Adoptions
  • Property Division

Public Law

More about Public Law here.

Administrative Law

Report of the branches of the Administrative law, including Environmental law.

Administrative Processes

Administrative Processing in Turkey and Asia.


Taxation in Turkey explained.

Labor Law

Overview of the labor law and social security in Turkey.

Asia Legal Systems

Further Resources

History of the Turkish Legal System

The Turkish legal tradition has been shaped by many different influences, domestic as well as foreign. More than one different legal system has coexisted in Turkey at various points in the long country history. The Portal of Turkish law provides introductory entries about the background and history of the law of the country.

Turkey Law Portal

The Turkey Law Portal provides an introductory overview of the history of legal development in Turkey, major legal concepts, the structure of Turkish government, the Turkish judicial and court system, and peculiar characteristic of the response of the Turkish legal system to development in Turkey.

The Turkey Portal presents the main areas of its legal system and the wider aspects of how law is made and reformed. The entries of the Turkey Law Portal include consideration of the primary features of the Turkish legal system, including the Turkish legal history, Turkish judicial structure and operation, the Turkish Constitution and the legislative and administrative structure and process. The contents of the Turkey Portal also include discussion of Turkish legal actors (including Turkish lawyers), legal education, judges and other participants in the Turkish legal landscape.

The Portal introduces legal professionals, students and the general reader to terms and concepts necessary for understanding the Turkish legal system, the jurisdiction, organization and authority of courts in Turkey, and the Turkish judicial interpretation and decision-making. The substantive areas of law such as public law, torts and product liability, property (including intellectual property rights and copyright infringements), and family law are also covered. The Portal also treats the law governing the main business legal topics: contracts, business regulation, companies and taxation. It also examines the civil, criminal and administrative processes, the procedural rights, main court opinions and the various modes of alternative dispute resolution available in Turkey.

Useful to the reader of the Encyclopedia as a reference, the Portal provides a table of cases, indices provides even greater detail, a glossary of selected legal terms and many entries provide bibliographies for further reading.

Comparative Law and Legal Systems in Asia

One of the goals of the comparative law is to wrap up the similarities and differences among countries, including Turkey. the different legal traditions in Asia and could be able thereby better to understand the Turkish law. to the reception of legal systems in Turkey and other countries of Asia, with special reference to the reception of foreign law (specially English law and Islamic law) by these countries.

The Asian Encyclopedia of Law provides a survey of the legal systems of almost all the Asian jurisdictions. Being the Encyclopedia a work in progress, the length of the entries may vary considerably. Each country section includes a description of their major subject areas of law, notes on the main compilations (or official codifications), a detailed listing of legislation covering specific topics and resources for enacted laws and judicial decisions (including references to further online sources).

Conclusion about the Legal System of Turkey

A good comprehension of the Turkish legal system requires knowledge and skill in a number of disciplines. The Turkish system itself is the result of developments in law, economy, politics, sociological change and the theories which feed all these bodies of knowledge. The law or Turkey may be relevant in a foreign jurisdiction court proceeding involving international transactions. The Knowledge of the Turkish traditions and its legal institutions allows a good understanding of the Turkish law, its institutions and processes and sets the Turkish law and system in a social context.

This guide introduces some of the main procedural and substantive Turkish principles, with a more detailed treatment of resources in the major subject areas of the Turkish law, with access to primary materials.

The general reader and students may learn some basic legal concepts and principles of the Turkish law, to explain how the Turkish legal system operates, and to provide a sense of how the systems within Turkey have evolved historically in Turkey from its origins.

A globally focused guide like this site, including the legal concepts and principles of Asia, cannot
avoid taking many culture-specific elements into account.

About the Author

Salvador Trinxet Llorca is a law writer, professor and lawyer specialized in comparative and international law.

See Also

References and Further Reading

  • Comparative law in a global context: the legal systems of Asia and Africa, Werner Menski
  • Asian legal systems: law, society, and pluralism in East Asia, Poh-Ling Tan
  • Philanthropy and law in Asia: a comparative study of the nonprofit legal systems in ten Asia Pacific societies, Thomas Silk
  • Law and legal institutions of Asia: traditions, adaptations and innovations, E Ann Black; Gary F Bell
  • Law, capitalism and power in Asia: the rule of law and legal institutions, Kanishka Jayasuriya
  • Asia-Pacific legal development, Douglas M Johnston and Gerry A Ferguson
  • Modern legal systems cyclopedia, Kenneth R Redden and William Emerson Brock
  • Constitutionalism in Asia: Asian views of the American influence, Lawrence Ward Beer
  • The judicialization of politics in Asia, Björn Dressel
  • East Asian Law: Universal Norms and Local Cultures
  • Law, Capitalism and Power in Asia : The Rule of Law and Legal Institutions
  • Doing Business in Asia (updated regularly)
  • Copyright Law and the Information Society in Asia
  • Insolvency Law in East Asia
  • Intellectual Property Law in Asia
  • A Legal Guide to Doing Business in the Asia-Pacific


  • Asia-Pacific Development Journal
  • Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law
  • Asian Law Journal
  • Australian Journal of Asian Law
  • Columbia Journal of Asian Law

URI: https://lawi.asia/turkish-legal-system/

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