The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey
Following the operation carried out on 12 September 1980 by the Turkish Armed Forces in response to a call from the Turkish Nation, of which they form an inseparable part, at a time when the approach of a separatist, destructive and bloody civil war unprecedented in the Republican era threatened the integrity of the eternal Turkish Nation and motherland and the existence of the sacred Turkish State.
This CONSTITUTION was prepared by the Consultative Assembly, given final form by the Council of National Security, which are the legitimate representatives of the Turkish Nation, and adopted, approved and directly enacted by the Turkish Nation,
And is entrusted for safekeeping by the Turkish Nation to the patriotism of its democracy-loving sons and daughters, in order that it may be understood to embody the IDEAS, BELIEFS and RESOLUTIONS set forth below and be interpreted and implemented accordingly, commanding respect for, and absolute loyalty to, its letter and spirit:
- The direction of the concept of nationalism as outlined by Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, its immortal leader and unrivalled hero; and in line with the reforms and principles introduced by him;
- The determination to safeguard the everlasting existence, prosperity and material and spiritual well-being of the Republic of Turkey, and to ensure that it attains the standards of contemporary civilisation, as a full and honourable member of the world family of nations;
- Recognition 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 it on behalf of the nation shall deviate from democracy based on freedom, as set forth in the Constitution and the rule of law instituted according to its requirements;
- The understanding that separation of powers does not imply an order of precedence among the organs of State, but reflects a civilised division of labour and mode of cooperation restricted to the exercise of specific State powers, and that supremacy is vested solely in the Constitution and the laws;
- The determination that no protection shall be afforded to thoughts or opinions contrary to Turkish National interests, the principle of the existence of Turkey as an indivisible entity with its State and territory, Turkish historical and moral values, or the nationalism, principles, reforms and modernism of Ataturk, and that as required by the principle of secularism, there shall be no interference whatsoever of sacred religious feelings in State affairs and politics;
- The understanding that it is the birthright of every Turkish citizen to lead an honourable life and develop his material and spiritual resources under the aegis of national culture, civilisation 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 towards their existence as a nation, 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."
Parts of the Turkish Constitution: