Turkey Political System

People’s commitment to the state

Modern Turkey is the heir to an empire that included Anatolia, the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans. At the height of the Ottoman Empire, all of Europe was aware of its power, military strength and desire to expand. In the end it was referred to as the “Sick Man on the Bosphorus”.

The pride in the past and the memory of the powerlessness that followed shape the self-image of Turkey and its relationship to Europe to this day. For the Turks, the establishment of the nation state is associated with a positive understanding of the terms and a strong identity. “Ne mutlu Türküm diyene” – “How happy he is who can say:“ I am a Turk! ”(Ataturk).

The commitment to the state and to Ataturk is visible in many places. At soccer games, seas of flags flood the whole country. Ataturk portraits also adorn private households. The socially recognized military has long been seen as the sole guarantor of the nation state and guardian of the constitution.

Identity formation is also conveyed by Ataturk’s statements: “Turk, be proud, confident and hardworking!” (Ataturk).

State structure, organs

Until the early parliamentary and presidential elections in June 2018, Turkey was a parliamentary democracy. The executive organs were the President, Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers of the National Assembly.

According to the constitutional referendum of 2017, the function of prime minister was abolished with the election and the state president was given great powers. The ministers will in future be top officials who the President can appoint and dismiss. In the future, the President of the State can veto the laws passed by Parliament; Parliament can only oppose it with a majority of its members. The President is responsible for calling new elections, as is the appointment of 12 judges (15 in total) to the Constitutional Court for 12 years. The State Control Council is made up of heads of state, as are six of the 12 judges of the High Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors. This increases the sphere of influence on the judiciary, and adequate control mechanisms have been dispensed with.

The right to govern by decree allows the President to issue ordinances without the consent of Parliament. This can put questions in writing to ministers and deputies of the president, also arrange for new elections with a majority of the members and appoint seven constitutional judges or six judges of the council of judges and prosecutors.

The ministers appoint the governor (vali) and the district administrators (kaymakam) at the municipal level, who thus act as representatives of the government. Citizens entitled to vote elect the muhtare (mayor), the municipal parliaments and mayors at the municipal level, and the members of the National Assembly and the President at the state level.

Turkey Flag in the minibus


According to computergees, Turkey is a “national, democratic, secular and social constitutional state”. Article 5 defines: “The basic objectives and tasks of the state are to protect the independence and unity of the Turkish people, the indivisibility of the country, the republic and democracy, and to ensure prosperity, well-being and happiness of the citizens and the community to remove the political, economic and social obstacles that limit the fundamental rights and freedoms of the person in a manner incompatible with the principles of the social rule of law and justice, as well as the creation of the necessary for the development of the material and ideal existence of the The necessary conditions for people to strive. ”The protection of national values thus has a great constitutional value. Anyone who violates this will quickly come into contact with the jurisdiction. in the The protection of Turkishness is enshrined in Section 301 of the Criminal Code. Even Orhan Pamuk, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature, was charged with denigrating Turkish citizenship for openly addressing the mass murder of the Armenians.

After each coup, the constitution was modified and ratified by popular vote. In the course of the EU progress debate (2002), numerous legal changes were achieved, the implementation of which has only partially reached everyday reality. In 2010 there was a constitutional referendum, which was adopted with a high turnout. Since then, the state president has been directly elected by the people for five years, and the influence of the military has been restricted.

The drafting of a civil constitution was always on the political agenda. Many attempts failed until the presidential system favored by Erdogan was adopted with a narrow majority in a referendum in April 2017. This gives the president extensive power and decision-making powers. The changes came into force with the presidential and parliamentary elections in June 2018.