LAW OF TURKEY

Duties and Powers of the Turkish President

Duties and Powers

The president’s duties, powers, qualifications, election, and other issues are stated in the Articles 8, 101, 103, 104, 105 and 106 of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey.

1. Executive power and function (Article 8)

Executive power and function shall be exercised and carried out by the President of the Republic in conformity with the Constitution and laws.

2. Candidacy and election (Article 101)

The President of the Republic shall be elected directly by the public from among Turkish citizens over forty years of age who are eligible to be a deputy and have completed higher education.

The President of the Republic’s term of office shall be five years. A person may be elected as the President of the Republic for two terms at most.

The President of the Republic may be nominated by political party groups, political parties which received at least five percent of valid votes on their own or collectively in the latest parliamentary elections or at least one hundred thousand voters.

The President-elect’s membership of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey shall cease.
In presidential elections conducted by universal suffrage, the candidate who receives the absolute majority of the valid votes shall be elected President of the Republic. If absolute majority cannot be obtained in the first ballot, the second ballot shall be held on the second Sunday following this ballot. Two candidates who received the highest number of votes in the first ballot run in the second ballot, and the candidate who receives majority of valid votes shall be elected President of the Republic.

If one of the candidates who gains the right to run for the second ballot is unable to participate in the election for any reason, the second ballot shall be conducted by substituting the vacant candidacy in conformity with the ranking in the first ballot. If only one candidate remains for the second ballot, this ballot shall be conducted as a referendum. If the candidate receives the majority of the valid votes, he/she shall be elected President of the Republic. If that candidate fails to receive the majority of the valid votes in the election, only the presidential election shall be renewed.

If the presidential election is not completed, the term of office of the incumbent

President of the Republic shall continue until the President-elect assumes the office.

The other procedures and principles concerning the presidential elections shall be regulated by law.

3. Oath-taking (Article 103)

On assuming office, the President of the Republic shall take the following oath before the Grand National Assembly of Turkey:

“In my capacity as President of the Republic, I swear upon my honor and integrity before the Great Turkish Nation and before history to safeguard the existence and independence of the state, the indivisible integrity of the country and the nation, and the absolute sovereignty of the nation, to abide by the Constitution, the rule of law, democracy, the principles and reforms of Atatürk, and the principles of the secular republic, not to deviate from the ideal according to which everyone is entitled to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms under conditions of national peace and prosperity and in a spirit of national solidarity and justice, and do my utmost to preserve and exalt the glory and honor of the Republic of Turkey and perform without bias the functions that I have assumed.”

4. Duties and Powers (Article 104)

The President of the Republic is the head of the State. The executive power shall be vested in the President of the Republic.

  • The President of the Republic, in his/her capacity as the Head of State, shall represent the Republic of Turkey and the unity of the Turkish Nation; he/she shall ensure the implementation of the Constitution, and orderly and harmonious functioning of the organs of the State.
  • He/she shall deliver the opening speech of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on the first day of the legislative year, if he/she deems it necessary.
    He/she shall give message to the Assembly regarding domestic and foreign policies of the country.
  • He/she shall promulgate laws.
  • He/she shall send laws back to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey to be reconsidered.
  • He/she shall appeal to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of all or certain provisions of laws and the Rules of Procedure of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on the grounds that they are unconstitutional in form or in content.
    He/she shall appoint and dismiss the deputies of the President of the Republic and the ministers.
  • He/she shall appoint and dismiss the high ranking public executives, and shall regulate the procedure and principles governing the appointment thereof by presidential decree.
  • He/she shall accredit representatives of the Republic of Turkey to foreign states and shall receive the representatives of foreign states appointed to the Republic of Turkey.
  • He/she shall ratify and promulgate international treaties.
  • He/she shall submit laws regarding amendment to the Constitution to referendum, if he/she deems it necessary.
  • He/she shall determine national security policies and take necessary measures.
    He/she shall represent the Office of Commander-in-Chief of the Turkish Armed Forces on behalf of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.
  • He/she shall decide on the use of the Turkish Armed Forces.
    He/she shall commute or remit the sentences imposed on persons, on grounds of chronic illness, disability or old age.
  • The President of the Republic may issue presidential decrees on the matters regarding executive power. The fundamental rights, individual rights and duties included in the first and second chapters and the political rights and duties listed in the fourth chapter of the second part of the Constitution shall not be regulated by a presidential decree. No presidential decree shall be issued on the matters which are stipulated in the Constitution to be regulated exclusively by law. No presidential decree shall be issued on the matters explicitly regulated by law. In the case of a discrepancy between provisions of the presidential decrees and the laws, the provisions of the laws shall prevail. A presidential decree shall become null and void if the Grand National Assembly of Turkey enacts a law on the same matter.
    The president of the Republic may issue by-laws in order to ensure the implementation of laws, provided that they are not contrary thereto.
    Decrees and by-laws shall come into effect on the date of publication in the Official Gazette, unless a later effective date is determined.
  • The President of the Republic shall also exercise powers of election and appointment, and perform the other duties conferred on him/her by the Constitution and laws.

5. Criminal Liability of the President of the Republic (Article 105)

Absolute majority of the total number of the members of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey may table a motion requesting that the President of the Republic be investigated on allegations of a crime. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey shall debate the motion in one month at the latest and may decide to launch an investigation with three-fifths of the total number of its members by secret ballot.

If an investigation is decided to be launched, it shall be conducted by a committee of fifteen members, chosen by lot, for each political party in the Assembly, separately from among three times the candidates nominated for each seat reserved to party groups in proportion to their strength. The committee shall submit its report on the conclusion of the investigation to the Office of the Speaker within two months. If the investigation is not completed within the time allotted, the committee shall be granted a further and final period of one month.

The report shall be distributed within ten days from the date of its submission to the Office of the Speaker, and it shall be debated in the Plenary within ten days following its distribution. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey may decide to refer the report to the Supreme Criminal Tribunal with two-thirds of the total number of its members by secret ballot. The trial of the Supreme Criminal Tribunal shall be completed within three months, if not completed within this period, an additional period of three-months shall be granted for once only, and the trial shall be finalized within the time allotted.

The President of the Republic who is under an investigation cannot decide to hold an election.

The mandate of the President of the Republic who is convicted by the Supreme Criminal

Tribunal of a crime that prevents from being elected shall end.

The provisions of this article shall also apply after the termination of the term of office of the President of the Republic to the crimes alleged to have been committed during the term of his/her office.

6. Deputies of the President of the Republic, Acting for the President of the Republic and Ministers (Article 106)

The President of the Republic may appoint one or more deputies after being elected.
If the presidential office becomes vacant for any reason, the presidential election shall be held within forty-five days. The Deputy President of the Republic of Turkey shall act as and exercise the powers of the President of the Republic until the next President of the Republic is elected. If one year or less remains for the general election, the election for the Grand National Assembly of Turkey shall be renewed together with the presidential election. If more than one year remains for the general election, the President of the Republic of Turkey shall continue to serve until the election date of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. This period shall not be counted of the presidential term with respect to the President of the Republic who completed the remaining period. Both elections shall be held together on the date of the general elections of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

In cases where the President of the Republic is temporarily absent from his/her duties on account of illness or travelling abroad, the deputy president acts as the President of the Republic and exercises his/her powers.

The deputies of the President of the Republic and the ministers shall be appointed from among those who are eligible to be a deputy and removed from office by the President of the Republic. The deputies of the President of the Republic and the ministers shall take oath before the Turkish Grand National Assembly as stated in the Article 81. If a member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey is appointed as a deputy president or minister, he/she shall lose his/her membership.

The deputies of the President of the Republic and the ministers are accountable to the President of the Republic. Absolute majority of the total number of the members of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey may table a motion requesting that the Deputies of President of the Republic and ministers be investigated on allegations of perpetration of a crime regarding their duties. The Assembly shall debate the motion within one month at the latest and may decide to launch an investigation with three-fifth majority of the total number of its members by secret ballot.

If an investigation is decided to be launched, it shall be conducted by a committee of fifteen members, chosen by lot, for each political party in the Assembly, separately from among three times the candidates nominated for each seat reserved to party groups in proportion to their strength. The committee shall submit its report on the conclusion of the investigation to the Office of the Speaker within two months. If the investigation is not completed within the time allotted, the committee shall be granted a further and final period of one month.

The report shall be distributed within ten days from the date of its submission to the Office of the Speaker, and it shall be debated in the Plenary within ten days following its distribution. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey may decide to refer the report to the Supreme Criminal Tribunal with two-thirds of the total number of its members by secret ballot. The trial of the Supreme Criminal Tribunal shall be completed within three months, if not completed within this period, an additional period of three-months shall be granted for once only, and the trial shall be finalized within the time allotted.

The provisions of the paragraphs V, VI and VII shall also apply after the termination of their duties with respect to the crimes alleged to have been committed regarding their duties during their term of office.

The deputies of the President of the Republic or ministers who are convicted of a crime by the Supreme Criminal Tribunal for a crime that prevents them from being elected shall lose their mandate.

The deputies of the President of the Republic and the ministers shall enjoy legislative immunity regarding the offenses not related to their duties.
The establishment, abolition, the duties and powers, the organizational structure of the ministries, and the establishment of their central and provincial organizations shall be regulated by the presidential decree.