what are Fundamental Rights under Turkish Constitution.

(1) Introduction

Two aspects of citizenship are rights and duties. Rights mean what a citizen owns while duties mean what a citizen owes. In dictatorship, only duties are imposed on the citizens. It is in democracy that citizens not only fulfill their duties, but also enjoy their rights. In democracy, every right has a corresponding duty. The Turkish Constitution also grants several fundamental rights to the Turkish citizens.

(2) Fundamental Rights

In Turkish Constitution The Turkish Constitution grants the following fundamental rights to the Turkish citizens:

  • (i) Personal inviolability, corporeal & spiritual existence
  • (ii) Torture or mal-treatment
  • (iii) Prohibition of forced labour
  • (iv) Personal liberty & security
  • (v) Privacy of private life
  • (vi) Inviolability of domicile
  • (vii) Freedom of communication
  • (viii) Freedom of residence & movement
  • (ix) Freedom of religion & conscience
  • (x) Freedom of thought & opinion
  • (xi) Freedom of expression & dissemination of thought
  • (xii) Freedom of science & arts
  • (xiii) Freedom of press
  • (xiv) Right to publish periodicals & non-periodicals
  • (xv) Right to use mass media & means of communication
  • (xvi) Right of rectification & reply
  • (xvii) Freedom of association
  • (xviii) Right to hold meetings & demonstration marches
  • (xix) Right to property
  • (xx) Freedom to claim rights
  • (xxi) Principle of natural judge
  • (xxii) Principles regarding offences & penalties
  • (xxiii) Right to prove allegation
  • (xxiv) Protection of fundamental rights & freedoms
  • (xxv) Children’s rights
  • (xxvi) Right of education
  • (xxvii) Freedom of work & contract
  • (xxviii) Right to work
  • (xxix) Working conditions
  • (xxx) Right to rest & leisure
  • (xxxi) Right to organize unions:
  • (xxxii) Rights of collective labour agreement & collective agreement
  • (xxxiii) Right to strike
  • (xxxiv) Fair wage
  • (xxxv) Right to live in healthy
  • (xxxvi) Right to housing & balanced environment
  • (xxxvii) Right to social security
  • (xxxviii) Right to vote, election & political activity
  • (xxxix) Formation of parties, membership & withdrawal from membership in party Public service
  • (xli) National service
  • (xlii) Right of petition
  • (xliii) Right to obtain information & appeal to Ombudsperson

(i) Personal Inviolability, Corporeal & Spiritual Existence

Article 17 states that everyone has the right to life and the right to protect and improve his/her corporeal and spiritual existence.

(ii) Torture Or Mal-Treatment

Article 17 also narrates that no one shall be subjected to torture or mal-treatment; no one shall be subjected to penalties or treatment, which are or is incompatible with human dignity.

(iii) Prohibition Of Forced Labour

Article 18 prohibits forced labour; no one shall be forced to work.

(iv) Personal Liberty & Security

Article 19 describes that everyone has the right to personal liberty and security.

(v) Privacy Of Private Life

Article 20 decides that everyone has the right to demand respect for his/her private and family life. Privacy of private or family life shall not be violated.

(vi) Inviolability Of Domicile

Article 21 settles that the domicile of an individual not be violated.

(vii) Freedom Of Communication

Article 22 states that everyone has the freedom of communication. Privacy of communication is fundamental.

(viii) Freedom Of Residence & Movement.

Article 23 narrates that everyone has the freedom of residence and movement; the citizens shall not be deported or shall not be deprived of their right of entry into the homeland.

(ix) Freedom Of Religion & Conscience

Article 24 describes that everyone has the freedom of conscience, religious belief and conviction.

(x) Freedom Of Thought & Opinion

Article 25 decides that everyone has the freedom of thought and opinion.

(xi) Freedom Of Expression & Dissemination Of Thought

Article 26 settles that everyone has the right to express and disseminate his thoughts and opinions.

(xii) Freedom Of Science & Arts

Article 27 states that everyone has the right to study and teach, express, and disseminate and the arts, and to carry out research in these fields freely.

(xiii) Freedom Of Press

Article 28 narrates that the press is free, and shall not be censored.

(xiv) Right To publish Periodicals & Non-Periodicals

Article 29 describes that publication of periodicals or non-periodicals shall not be subject to prior authorization or the deposit of a financial guarantee.

(xv) Right To Use Mass Media & Means Of Communication

Article 31 decides that individuals and political parties have the right to use mass media and means of communication, which are other than the press, which are owned by public corporations.

(xvi) Right Of Rectification & Reply

Article 32 settles that the right of rectification and reply shall be accorded only in cases where personal reputation and honour is injured or in case of publications of unfounded allegation.

(xvii) Freedom Of Association

Article 33 states that everyone has the right to form associations or become a member of an association or withdraw from membership without prior permission.

(xviii) Right To Hold Meetings & Demonstration Marches

Article 34 narrates that everyone has the right to hold unarmed and peaceful meetings and demonstration marches without prior permission.

(xix) Right To Property

Article 35 describes that everyone has the right to own and inherit property.

(xx) Freedom To Claim Rights

Article 36 decides that everyone has the right of litigation either as plaintiff or defendant and the right to a fair trial before the courts through legitimate means and procedures.

(xxi) Principle Of Natural Judge

Article 37 settles that a person can be tried only by legally designated court.

(xxii) Principles Regarding Offences & Penalties

Article 38 provides principles regarding offences and penalties:

  • (a) Punishment
  • (b) Heavier penalty
  • (c) Guilty
  • (d) Statement
  • (e) Death penalty or general confiscation
  • (f) Deprivation of liberty
  • (g) Extradition

(a) Punishment

No one shall be punished for any act, which does not constitute a criminal offence under the law in force at the time of its commission.

(b) Heavier Penalty

No one shall be given a heavier penalty, which was not applicable for his offence at the time when the offence was committed.

(c) Guilty

No one shall be considered guilty until he is proven guilty in a court of law.

(d) Statement

No one shall be compelled to make a statement that would incriminate himself or his legal next of kin or to present such incriminating evidence.

(e) Deprivation Of Liberty

No one shall be deprived of his/her liberty merely on the ground of inability to fulfill a contractual obligation.

(f) Death Penalty Or General Confiscation

Death penalty or general confiscation shall not be imposed as punishment.

(g) Extradition

No citizen shall be extradited to a foreign country because of an offence.

(xxiii) Right To Prove Allegation

Article 39 states that the defendant has the right to prove the allegations in libel and defamation suits that involve allegations against persons in the public service in connection with their functions or services.

(xxiv) Protection Of Fundamental Rights & Freedoms

Article 40 narrates that everyone whose constitutional rights and freedoms have been violated has the right to request prompt access to the competent authorities.

(xxv) Children’s Rights

Article 41 describes that every child has the right to protection and care and the right to have and maintain a personal and direct relation with his mother and father.

(xxvi) Right Of Education

Article 42 decides that no one shall be deprived of the right of education.

(xxvii) Freedom Of Wort & Contract

Article 48 settles that everyone has the freedom to work and conclude contracts in the field of his choice.

(xxviii) Right To Work

Article 49 states that everyone has the right to work.

(xxix) Working Conditions

Article 50 narrates that no one shall be required to perform work, which is unsuited to his/her age, sex, and capacity.

(xxx) Right To Rest & Leisure

Article 50 also narrates that all workers have the right to rest and leisure.

(xxxi) Right To Organize Unions

Article 51 describes that employees and employers have the right to form unions and higher organizations, and they also possess the right to become a member of a union and to freely withdraw from membership.

(xxxii) Rights Of Collective Labour Agreement & Collective Agreement

Article 53 decides that workers and employers have the to conclude collective labour agreements, and Public servants and other public employees have the right to conclude collective agreements.

(xxxiii) Right To Strike

Article 54 settles that workers have the right to strike during the collective bargaining process if a disagreement arises.

(xxxiv) Fair Wage

Article 55 states that wages shall be paid in return for work.

(XIV) Right To Live In Healthy & Balanced Environment

Article 56 narrates that everyone has the right to live in a healthy and balanced environment.

(XXXVI) Right To Housing

Article 57 provides right to housing.

(xxxvii) Right To Social Security

Article 60 narrates that everyone has the right to social security.

(xxxviii) Right To Vote, Election & Political Activity

Article 67 provides the following political rights:

  • (a) Right to vote
  • (b) Right to be elected
  • (c) Right to engage in political activity
  • (d) Right to take part in referendum

(a) Right To Vote

Citizens have the right to vote.

(b) Right To Be Elected

Citizens have the right to be elected.

(c) Right To Engage In Political Activity

Citizens have the right to engage in political activities independently or in a political party.

(d) Right To Take Part In Referendum

Citizens have right to take part in a referendum.

(xxxix) Formation Of Parties, Membership & Withdrawal From Membership In Party

Article 68 describes that citizens have the right to form political parties and duly join and withdraw from them.

(xl) Public Service

Article 70 decides that every Turk has the right to enter public service.

(xli) National Service

Article 72 settles that national service is the right of every Turk.

(xlii) Right Of Petition

Article 74 states that citizens and foreigners resident in Turkey have the right to make written application to the competent authorities and to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey with regard to the requests and complaints, which concern themselves or the public.

(xliii) Right to Obtain Information & Appeal to Ombudsperson

Article 74 also narrates that everyone has the right to obtain information and appeal to the Ombudsperson.

(3) Conclusion

It can be stated that the Turkish Constitution is though democratic in nature, yet it has increased the weight of state authority and tried to protect state against individual. Theoretically, it provides inherent fundamental rights, which are inviolable and inalienable However, the reality is that it restricts the fundamental rights and freedoms. In fact, it imposes limitations on the Turkish citizens to consolidate the state authority.

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