Constitution is the system of rules to govern a country. The Constitution of Turkey is a changing document. The current Constitution was adopted in 1982 and it has superseded the previous three constitutions of 1921, 1924 and 1961. It is the supreme law in Turkey. It establishes the framework and principles of government. Its Part One describes general principles.
(2) General Principles
Part One of the Turkish Constitution describes the following general principles:
- (i) Form of state
- (ii) Characteristics of Republic of Turkey
- (iii) Integrity, official language, flag, national anthem & capital
- (iv) Irrevocable provisions
- (v) Fundamental aims & duties of state
- (vi) Sovereignty
- (vi) Legislative power
- (viii) Executive power & function
- (ix) Judicial power
- (x) Equality before law
- (xi) Supremacy & binding force of Constitution
(i) Form Of State
Article I narrates that the state of Turkey is a Republic.
(ii) Characteristics Of Republic Of Turkey
Article 2 states the following characteristics of the Republic of Turkey:
- (a) Democratic, secular & social state
- (b) Rule of law
- (c) Human rights
- (d) Nationalism of Ataturk
- (e) Fundamental tenets
(a) Democratic, Secular & Social State
The Republic of Turkey is a democratic, secular and social state within the notions of public peace, national solidarity and justice.
(b) Rule Of Law
The state of Turkey is governed by rule of law.
(c) Human Rights
The State of Turkey respects the human rights.
(d) Nationalism Of Ataturk
The state of Turkey is loyal to the nationalism of Ataturk.
(e) Fundamental Tenets
The state of Turkey is based on the fundamental tenets, which the Preamble describes.
(iii) Integrity, Official Language, Flag, National Anthem & Capital
Article 3 provides the following general principles:
- (a) Integrity
- (b) Official language
- (c) Flag
- (d) National anthem
- (e) Capital
With its territory and nation, the state of Turkey is an indivisible entity.
(b) Official Language
Its language is Turkish.
Its flag is composed of a white crescent and star on a red background, and its form is prescribed by the relevant law.
(d) National Anthem
Its national anthem is the “Independence March”.
Its capital is Ankara.
(iv) Irrevocable Provisions
The provision of Article 1 regarding the Republic form of state, the characteristics of the Republic in Article 2, and the provisions of Article 3 shall not be amended. Even their amendment shall not be proposed.
(v) Fundamental Aims & Duties Of State
Article 5 describes the fundamental aims and duties of the Turkish state:
- (a) Independence & integrity
- (b) Indivisibility of country, Republic & democracy
- (c) Republic & democracy
- (d) Welfare, peace & happiness
- (e) Political, economic & social obstacles
- (f) Development of individual’s material & spiritual existence
(a) Independence & Integrity
The state is to safeguard the independence and integrity of the Turkish Nation.
(b) Indivisibility Of Country, Republic & Democracy
The state is to safeguard the indivisibility of the country, the Republic and democracy.
(c) Republic & Democracy
The state is to safeguard the Republic and democracy.
(d) Welfare, Peace & Happiness
The state is to ensure the welfare, peace, and happiness of the individual and society.
(e) Political, Economic & Social Obstacles
The state is to strive for the removal of political, economic, and social obstacles, which restrict the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual of the social state.
(f) Development of Individual’s Material & Spiritual Existence
The state is to provide the conditions, which are required for the development of the individual’s material and spiritual existence.
Article 6 settles that sovereignty belongs to the without any restriction or condition:
- (a) Exercise of authority
- (b) Delegation of exercise of authority
(a) Exercise Of Authority
The Turkish nation shall exercise its sovereignty through the authorized organs.
(b) Delegation Of Exercise Of Authority
The exercise of sovereignty shall not be delegated to any individual, group or class. No person or organ shall exercise any state authority that does not corne out from the Constitution.
(vii) Legislative Power
Article 7 states that legislative power is vested in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on behalf of Turkish nation.
(ix) Judicial Power
Article 9 decides that judicial power shall be exercised by independent and impartial courts on behalf of the Turkish nation.
(x) Equality Before Law
Article 10 provides principles regarding equality before law:
- (a) Equal before haw
- (b) Men & women
- (c) Children, the elderly, disabled people, widows & orphans of martyrs, invalids & veterans
- (d) Privilege
- (e) State organs & administrative authorities
(a) Equal Before Law
Everyone is equal before the law without distinction as to language, race, colour, sex. political opinion, philosophical belief, religion and sect, or any such grounds.
(b) Men & Women
Men and women have equal rights.
(e) Children, The Elderly, Disabled People, Widows & Orphans Of Martyrs & Invalids & Veterans Measures for children, the elderly, disabled people, widows and orphans of martyrs and the invalid and veterans shall not be considered as violation of the principle of equality.
No privilege shall be granted to any individual, family, group or class.
(e) State Organs & Administrative Authorities
State organs and administrative authorities are to act in compliance with the principle of equality before the law in all their proceedings.
(xi) Supremacy & Binding Force Of Constitution
Article 11 provides for supremacy and binding force of the Constitution:
- (a) Binding force
- (b) Supremacy
(a) Binding Force
The provisions of the Constitution are fundamental legal rales that are binding upon legislative, executive and judicial organs, and administrative authorities and other institutions and individuals.
Laws shall not be contrary to the Constitution.
It can be finally stated that a constitution is usually divided and sub-divided into parts. Such division of the constitution is made to explain what it contains. Among its parts, preliminaries is a that part, which describes the basic or general principles of the government. The Turkish Constitution is also no exception to this rule. Its Part One describes the general principles.