Government of Turkey

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Government of Turkey takes place in a framework of a strictly secular[citation needed] parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister of Turkey is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. The President of Turkey is the head of state who holds a largely ceremonial role but with substantial reserve powers.

Turkey's political system is based on a separation of powers. Executive power is exercised by the Council of Ministers. Legislative power is vested in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. Changes to the constitution are not expected as discussions have deadlocked.

Executive branch[edit]

The function of head of state is performed by the president (Cumhurbaşkanı). A president is elected every five years on the principle of universal suffrage according to the current constitution. The president does not have to be a member of parliament, but he/she must be over 40 years old and hold a bachelor's degree.[citation needed] The current president Abdullah Gül was elected by Parliament on 28 August 2007.[1] Executive power rests with the president, the prime minister (Başbakan) and the Council of Ministers (Bakanlar Kurulu). The ministers don't have to be members of Parliament (a recent example is Kemal Derviş). The prime minister is appointed by the President and approved through a vote of confidence (güvenoyu) in the Parliament. The prime minister is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose Justice and Development Party, which is often termed "conservative" but is in fact better termed "faith-based",[citation needed] won a plurality of parliamentary seats in the 2011 general elections.

Legislative branch[edit]

Legislative power is invested in the 550-seat Grand National Assembly of Turkey (Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi), representing 81 provinces. The members are elected for a four-year term by mitigated proportional representation with an election threshold of 10%. To be represented in Parliament, a party must win at least 10% of the national vote in a national parliamentary election. Independent candidates may run, and to be elected, they must only win 10% of the vote in the province from which they are running. The threshold is set to be reduced.[2]

The current Speaker of the Parliament is Cemil Çiçek.

Judicial branch[edit]

The freedom and independence of the Judicial System is protected within the constitution. There is no organization, person, or institution which can interfere in the running of the courts, and the executive and legislative structures must obey the courts' decisions. The courts, which are independent in discharging their duties, must explain each ruling on the basis of the provisions of the Constitution, the laws, jurisprudence, and their personal convictions.

The Judicial system is highly structured. Turkish courts have no jury system; judges render decisions after establishing the facts in each case based on evidence presented by lawyers and prosecutors. For minor civil complaints and offenses, justices of the peace take the case. This court has a single judge. It has jurisdiction over misdemeanors and petty crimes, with penalties ranging from small fines to brief prison sentences. Three-judge courts of first instance have jurisdiction over major civil suits and serious crimes. Any conviction in a criminal case can be taken to a court of Appeals for judicial review.

All courts are open to the public. When a case is closed to the public, the court has to declare the reason. Judge and prosecution structures are secured by the constitution. Except with their own consent, no judge or prosecutor can be dismissed, have his/her powers restricted, or be forced to retire. However, the retirement age restrictions do apply. The child courts have their own structure.

A judge can be audited for misconduct only with the Ministry of Justice's permission, in which case a special task force of justice experts and senior judges is formed.

The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) is the principal body charged with responsibility for ensuring judicial integrity, and determines professional judges acceptance and court assignments. Minister of justice, Sadullah Ergin is the natural head of the Council according to the current constitution.

Turkey adopted a new national "Judicial Networking System" (UYAP). The court decisions and documents (case info, expert reports, etc.) will be accessible via the Internet.

Turkey accepts the European Court of Human Rights' decisions as a higher court decision. Turkey also accepts as legally binding any decisions on international agreements.

There are several supreme courts with different subjects:

Yargıtay acts as the supreme court of judiciary tribunals (criminal and civil justice). Danıştay is the highest of administrative courts. Anayasa Mahkemesi examines the constitutionality of laws, decrees having the force of law (decret-loi), changes of parliamentary by-laws and several other acts of the parliament. Sayıştay (Court of Accounts) is the court which examines the incomes and expenses of the administrative bodies and which acts in the name of parliament. The Military Court of Cassation (Askeri Yargıtay) and The Military High Court of Administration (or the Supreme Military Administrative Court) (Askeri Yüksek İdare Mahkemesi) are the highest bodies to which appeals of decisions of military courts are to be made.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile: Abdullah Gul". BBC News. 28 August 2007. Retrieved 1 July 2008. 
  2. ^ Yavuz, Ercan (20 September 2008). "10 pct election threshold to be reduced". Today's Zaman. Retrieved 19 September 2008.