Turkey has remained a constitutional laboratory where a number of Constitutions were enacted and repealed. The present Turkish Constitution was enacted in 1982. It is though democratic in nature, yet it has increased the weight of state authority and tried to protect state against individual.
(2) Features Of Turkish Constitution
Followings are the features of Turkish Constitution:
- (i) Lengthy & written
- (ii) Presidential government
- (iii) Unicameral legislature
- (iv) Unitary system
- (v) Republicanism
- (vi) Referendum
- (vii) National Security Council
- (viii) Nationalism
- (ix) Secularism
- (x) Fundamental rights & duties
- (xi) General principles
- (xii) Emergency
(i) Lengthy & Written
It is a lengthy and written constitution; it is composed of a Preamble, seven parts and one hundred seventy seven articles.
(ii) Presidential Government
It has established presidential government in Turkey. The President is the head of the state, and executive power belongs to him.
It has established unicameral legislature; there is only one house of legislature, and this house is Grand National Assembly.
(iv) Unitary System
It has imposed unitary system in Turkey. It is applicable to the whole country, and the provinces are not independent.
It has introduced republicanism in Turkey. Turkey is a Republic, and the head of the state, who is President, is directly elected by the voters.
It has provided for referendum; the President holds a referendum on laws regarding amendment to the Constitution if he deems it necessary.
(vii) National Security Council
It has established National Security Council, which is to formulate national security policy. The Turkish National Security Council is composed of the President, the Vice-Presidents. Ministers of Justice, National Defence, Internal Affairs, and Foreign Affairs, the Chief of the General Staff, and the commanders of the Land, Naval and Air Forces.
It has affirmed the eternal existence of the Turkish nation in line with the concept of nationalism. According to it, the Republic of Turkey is loyal to the nationalism of Ataturk.
It has declared Turkey a secular state. The Preamble states that sacred religious feelings shall absolutely not be involved in state affairs and politics.
(x) Fundamental Rights & Duties
It has provided fundamental rights and duties. These fundamental rights and duties include the rights and duties of individuals, social and economic rights and duties, and political rights and duties.
(xi) General Principles
It has described general principles to explain the form and fundamental aims and duties of Turkish state, characteristics of Turkish Republic, sovereignty, legislative and judicial powers, executive power and function, equality before law and its own supremacy and binding force.
It has provided for emergency. With the approval of the Grand National Assembly, the President can declare state of emergency in one or more regions or throughout the country for six months.
It can be finally stated that Turkish Constitution is criticized; it was not made in democratic manner, it is extremely rigid constitution and poorly worded, it restricts the fundamental rights and freedoms, it imposes limitations on political parties, associations and labor unions, and it has strengthened the Presidency against the parliamentary system.