GENERAL PRINCIPLES

PREAMBLE  (As amended on October 17, 2001)

In line with the concept of nationalism and the reforms and principles introduced by the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Atatürk, the immortal leader and the unrivalled hero, this Constitution, which affirms the eternal existence of the Turkish nation and motherland and the indivisible unity of the Turkish state, embodies;

The determination to safeguard the everlasting existence, prosperity and material and spiritual well-being of the Republic of Turkey, and to attain the standards of contemporary civilization as an honourable member with equal rights of the family of world nations;

The understanding of the absolute supremacy of the will of the nation and of the fact that sovereignty is vested fully and unconditionally in the Turkish nation and that no individual or body empowered to exercise this sovereignty in the name of the nation shall deviate from liberal democracy and the legal system instituted according to its requirements;

The principle of the separation of powers, which does not imply an order of precedence among the organs of state, but refers solely to the exercising of certain state powers and discharging of duties which are limited to cooperation and division of functions, and which accepts the supremacy of the Constitution and the law;

The recognition that no protection shall be accorded to an activity contrary to Turkish national interests, the principle of the indivisibility of the existence of Turkey with its state and territory, Turkish historical and moral values or the nationalism, principles, reforms and modernism of Atatürk and that, as required by the principle of secularism, there shall be no interference whatsoever by sacred religious feelings in state affairs and politics; the acknowledgment that it is the birthright of every Turkish citizen to lead an honourable life and to develop his or her material and spiritual assets under the aegis of national culture, civilization and the rule of law, through the exercise of the fundamental rights and freedoms set forth in this Constitution in conformity with the requirements of equality and social justice;

The recognition that all Turkish citizens are united in national honour and pride, in national joy and grief, in their rights and duties regarding national existence, in blessings and in burdens, and in every manifestation of national life, and that they have the right to demand a peaceful life based on absolute respect for one another’s rights and freedoms, mutual love and fellowship and the desire for and belief in “Peace at home, peace in the world”.

This Constitution, which is to be embraced with the ideas, beliefs, and resolutions it embodies below should be interpreted and implemented accordingly, thus commanding respect for, and absolute loyalty to, its letter and spirit.

Is entrusted by the Turkish nation to the patriotism and nationalism of its democracy-loving sons and daughters.


I. Form of the State

ARTICLE 1. The Turkish state is a Republic.

II. Characteristics of the Republic

ARTICLE 2 . The Republic of Turkey is a democratic, secular and social state governed by the rule of law; bearing in mind the concepts of public peace, national solidarity and justice; respecting human rights; loyal to the nationalism of Atatürk, and based on the fundamental tenets set forth in the Preamble.

III. Integrity of the State, Official Language, Flag, National Anthem, and Capital

ARTICLE 3. The Turkish state, with its territory and nation, is an indivisible entity. Its language is Turkish.

Its flag, the form of which is prescribed by the relevant law, is composed of a white crescent and star on a red background.

Its national anthem is the “Independence March”.

Its capital is Ankara.

IV. Irrevocable Provisions

ARTICLE 4. The provision of Article 1 of the Constitution establishing the form of the state as a Republic, the provisions in Article 2 on the characteristics of the Republic, and the provision of Article 3 shall not be amended, nor shall their amendment be proposed.

V. Fundamental Aims and Duties of the State

ARTICLE 5. The fundamental aims and duties of the state are; to safeguard the independence and integrity of the Turkish Nation, the indivisibility of the country, the Republic and democracy; to ensure the welfare, peace, and happiness of the individual and society; to strive for the removal of political, social and economic obstacles which restrict the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual in a manner incompatible with the principles of justice and of the social state governed by the rule of law; and to provide the conditions required for the development of the individual’s material and spiritual existence.

VI. Sovereignty

ARTICLE 6. Sovereignty is vested fully and unconditionally in the nation.

The Turkish Nation shall exercise its sovereignty through the authorised organs as prescribed by the principles laid down in the Constitution.

The right to exercise sovereignty shall not be delegated to any individual, group or class. No person or agency shall exercise any state authority which does not emanate from the Constitution.

VII. Legislative Power

ARTICLE 7. Legislative power is vested in the Turkish Grand National Assembly on behalf of the Turkish Nation. This power cannot be delegated.

VIII. Executive Power and Function

ARTICLE 8. Executive power and function shall be exercised and carried out by the President of the Republic and the Council of Ministers in conformity with the Constitution and the law.

IX. Judicial Power

ARTICLE 9. Judicial power shall be exercised by independent courts on behalf of the Turkish Nation.

X. Equality before the Law

ARTICLE 10. All individuals are equal without any discrimination before the law, irrespective of language, race, colour, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief, religion and sect, or any such considerations.

No privilege shall be granted to any individual, family, group or class.

State organs and administrative authorities shall act in compliance with the principle of equality before the law in all their proceedings.

XI. Supremacy and Binding Force of the Constitution

ARTICLE 11. The provisions of the Constitution are fundamental legal rules binding upon legislative, executive and judicial organs, and administrative authorities and other institutions and individuals.

Laws shall not be in conflict with the Constitution.