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The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey





I. Protection of the Family

ARTICLE 41. The family is the foundation of Turkish society.

The State shall take the necessary measures and establish the necessary organisation to ensure the peace and welfare of the family, especially the protection of the mother and children, and for family planning education and application.

II. Right and Duty of Training and Education

ARTICLE 42. No one shall be deprived of the right of learning and education.

The scope of the right to education shall be defined and regulated by law.

Training and education shall be conducted along the lines of the principles and reforms of Ataturk, on the basis of contemporary science and education methods, under the supervision and control of the State. Institutions of training and education contravening these provisions shall not be established.

The freedom of training and education does not relieve the individual from loyalty to the Constitution.

Primary education is compulsory for all citizens of both sexes and is free of charge in state schools.

The principles governing the functioning of private primary and secondary schools shall be regulated by law in keeping with the standards set for state schools.

The State shall provide scholarships and other means of assistance to enable students of merit lacking financial means to continue their education. The State shall take necessary measures to rehabilitate those in need of special training so as to render such people useful to society.

Training, education, research, and study are the only activities that shall be pursued at institutions of training and education. These activities shall not be obstructed in any way.

No language other than Turkish shall be taught as mother tongue to Turkish citizens at any institutions of training or education. Foreign languages to be taught in institutions of training and education and the rules to be followed by schools conducting training and education in a foreign language shall be determined by law. The provisions of international treaties are reserved.

III. Public Interest

A. Utilization of the Coasts

ARTICLE 43. The coasts are under the sovereignty and at the disposal of the State.

In the utilisation of the sea coast, lake shores or river banks, and of the coastal strip along the sea and lakes, public interest shall be taken into consideration with priority.

The width of coasts, and coastal strips to be determined according to the purpose of utilization, and the conditions and possibilities of such utilization by individuals shall be determined by law.

B. Land Ownership

ARTICLE 44. The State shall take the necessary measures to maintain and develop efficient land cultivation, to prevent its loss through erosion, and to provide land to farmers with insufficient land of their own, or no land. For this purpose, the law may define the size of appropriate land units, according to different agricultural regions and types of farming. Providing of land to farmers with no or insufficient land shall not lead to a fall in production, or to the depletion of forests and other land and underground resources.

Lands distributed for this purpose shall neither be divided nor be transferred to others, except through inheritance, and shall be cultivated only by farmers, to whom they have been distributed, and their heirs. The principles relating to the recovery by the State of the land thus distributed in the event of loss of these conditions shall be prescribed by law.

C. Protection of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Persons Engaged in These Activities

ARTICLE 45. The State shall assist farmers and livestock breeders in acquiring machinery, equipment and other inputs in order to prevent improper use and destruction of agricultural land, meadows and pastures and to increase crop and livestock production in accordance with the principles of agricultural planning.

The State shall take necessary measures to promote the values of crop and livestock products, and to enable producers to be paid their real value.

D. Expropriation

ARTICLE 46. The State and public corporations shall be entitled, where the public interest requires it, to expropriate privately owned real estate wholly or in part or impose administrative servitude on it in accordance with the principles and procedures prescribed by law, provided that compensation is paid in advance.

The method and procedure for calculating compensation for expropriation shall be prescribed by law. In determining the compensation, the law shall take into account tax declarations, current value established by official assessment at the time of expropriation, unit prices and construction costs for real estate, and other objective criteria.

The procedure for taxing and difference between the sum due in compensation and the value declared in the tax declaration shall be prescribed by law.

Compensation shall be paid in cash and in advance. However, the procedure to be applied in paying compensation for land expropriated in order to carry out land reform, major energy and irrigation projects, and housing and resettlement schemes and afforestation, and to protect the coasts and to build tourist facilities shall be regulated by law. In the previous cases where the law may allow payment in installments, the payment period shall not exceed five years; whence payment shall be made in equal installments and an interest rate equivalent to the highest interest paid on the public debt shall be paid for the remainder of installments.

Compensation for land expropriated from the small farmer who cultivates his own land shall in all cases be paid in advance.

E. Nationalisation

ARTICLE 47. Private enterprises performing public service may be nationalised when this is required by the exigencies of public interest.

Nationalisation shall be carried out on the basis of real value. The methods and procedures for calculating real value shall be prescribed by law.

IV. Freedom to Work and Conclude Contracts

ARTICLE 48. Everyone has the freedom to work and conclude contracts in the field of his choice. The establishment of private enterprises is free.

The State shall take measures to ensure that private enterprises operate in accordance with national economic requirements and social objectives and in conditions of security and stability.

V. Provisions Relating to Labour

A. Right and Duty to Work

ARTICLE 49. Everyone has the right and duty to work.

The State shall take the necessary measures to raise the standard of living of workers, to protect them in order to improve the general conditions of labour, to promote labour, and to create suitable economic conditions for prevention of unemployment.

The State shall take facilitating and protecting measures in order to secure labour peace in worker-employer relations.

B. Working Conditions and Right to Rest and Leisure

ARTICLE 50. No one shall be required to perform work unsuited to his age, sex, and capacity.

Minors, women, and persons with physical or mental disabilities shall enjoy special protection with regard to working conditions.

All workers have the right to rest and leisure.

Rights and conditions relating to paid weekends and holidays, together with paid annual leave, shall be regulated by law.

C. Right to Organise Labour Unions

ARTICLE 51. Workers and employers have the right to form labour unions and employers' associations and higher organisations, without prior permission, in order to safeguard and develop their economic and social right and the interests of their members in their labour relations.

In order to form unions and their higher bodies, it shall suffice to submit the information and documents prescribed by law to the competent authority designated by law. If this information and documentation is not in conformity with law, the competent authority shall apply to the appropriate court for the suspension of activities or the dissolution of the union or the higher body.

Everyone shall be free to become a member of or withdraw from membership in a union.

No one shall be compelled to become a member, remain a member, or withdraw from membership of a union.

Workers and employers cannot hold concurrent membership in more than one labour union or employers' association.

Employment in a given workplace shall not be made conditional on being, or not being, a member of a labour union.

To become an executive in a labour union or in higher organisations of them it is a prerequisite condition that the workers should have held the status of a labourer for at least ten years.

The status, the administration, and the functioning of the labour unions and their higher bodies should not be inconsistent with the characteristics of the Republic as defined in the Constitution, or with democratic principles.

D. Activities of Labour Unions

ARTICLE 52. Labour unions, in addition to being under the general restrictions set forth in Article 13, also shall not pursue a political cause, engage in political activity, receive support from political parties or give support to them, and shall not act jointly for these purposes with associations, public professional organisations, and foundations.

The fact of engaging in labour union activities in a workplace shall not justify failure to perform one's work.

The administrative and financial supervision of labour unions by the State, and their revenues and expenditures, and the method of payment of membership dues to the labour union, shall be regulated by law.

Labour unions shall not use their revenues beyond the scope of their professional aims, and shall keep all their funds in State banks.

VI. Collective Bargaining, Right to Strike, and Lockout

A. Right of Collective Bargaining

ARTICLE 53. Workers and employers have the right to conclude collective bargaining agreements in order to regulate reciprocally their economic and social position and conditions of work.

The procedure to be followed in concluding collective bargaining agreements shall be regulated by law.

More than one collective bargaining agreement at the same place of work for the same period shall not be concluded or put into effect.

B. Right to Strike, and Lockout

ARTICLE 54. Workers have the right to strike if a dispute arises during the collective bargaining process. The procedures and conditions governing the exercise of this right and the employer's recourse to a lockout, the scope of both actions, and the exceptions to which they are subject shall be regulated by law.

The right to strike, and lockout shall not be exercised in a manner contrary to the principle of goodwill to the detriment of society, and in a manner damaging national wealth.

During a strike, the labour union is liable for any material damage caused in a workplace where the strike is being held, as a result of deliberate negligent behaviour by the workers and the labour union.

The circumstances and places in which strikes and lockouts may be prohibited or postponed shall be regulated by law.

In cases where a strike or a lockout is prohibited or postponed, the dispute shall be settled by the Supreme Arbitration Board at the end of the period of postponement. The disputing parties may apply to the Supreme Arbitration Board by mutual agreement at any stage of the dispute.

The decisions of the Supreme Arbitration Board shall be final and have the force of collective bargaining agreement.

The organisation and functions of the Supreme Arbitration Board shall be regulated by law.

Politically motivated strikes and lockouts, solidarity strikes and lockouts, occupation of work premises, labour go-slows, production decreasing, and other forms of obstruction are prohibited.

Those who refuse to go on strike shall in no way be barred from working at their workplace by strikers.

VII. Guarantee of Fair Wage

ARTICLE 55. Wages shall be paid in return for work.

The State shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers earn a fair wage suitable for the work they perform and that they enjoy other social benefits.

In determining the minimum wage, the economic and social conditions of the country shall be taken into account.

VIII. Health, the Environment, and Housing

A. Health Services and Conservation of the Environment

ARTICLE 56. Everyone has the right to live in a healthy, balanced environment.

It is the duty of the State and the citizens to improve the natural environment, and to prevent environmental pollution.

To ensure that everyone lead their lives in conditions of physical and mental health and to secure cooperation in terms of human and material resources through economy and increased productivity, the State shall regulate central planning and functioning of the health services.

The State shall fulfill this task by utilizing and supervising the health and social assistance institutions, in both the public and private sectors.

In order to establish widespread health services general health insurance may be introduced by law.

B. Right to Housing

ARTICLE 57. The State shall take measures to meet the needs for housing, within the framework of a plan which takes into account the characteristics of cities and environmental conditions and supports community housing projects.

IX. Youth and Sports

A. Protection of Youth

ARTICLE 58. The State shall take measures to ensure the training and development of youth into whose keeping our State, independence, and our Republic are entrusted, in the light of contemporary science, in line with the principles and reforms of Ataturk, and in opposition to ideas aiming at the destruction of the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation.

The State shall take necessary measures to protect youth from addiction to alcohol, drug addiction, crime, gambling, and similar vices, and ignorance.

B. Development of Sports

ARTICLE 59. The State shall take measures to develop the physical and mental health of Turkish citizens of all ages, and encourage the spread of sports among the masses.

The State shall protect successful athletes.

X. Social Security Rights

A. Right to Social Security

ARTICLE 60. Everyone has the right to social security.

The State shall take the necessary measures and establish the organisation for the provision of social security.

B. Persons Requiring Special Protection in the Field of Social Security

ARTICLE 61. The State shall protect the widows and orphans of those killed in war and in the line of duty, together with the disabled and war veterans, and ensure that they enjoy a decent standard of living.

The State shall take measures to protect the disabled and secure their integration into community life.

The aged shall be protected by the State. State assistance to the aged, and other rights and benefits shall be regulated by law.

The State shall take all kinds of measures for social resettlement of children in need of protection.

To achieve these aims the State shall establish the necessary organisations or facilities, or arrange for their establishment by other bodies.

C. Turkish Nationals Working Abroad

ARTICLE 62. The State shall take the necessary measure to ensure the family unity, the education of the children, the cultural needs, and the social security of Turkish Nationals working abroad, and shall take the necessary measures to safeguard their ties with the country and to help them on their return home.

XI. Conservation of Historical, Cultural, and Natural Wealth

ARTICLE 63. The State shall ensure the conservation of the historical, cultural and natural assets and wealth, and shall take supporting and promoting measures towards this end.

Any limitations to be imposed on such assets and wealth which are privately owned and the compensation and exemptions to be accorded to the owners of such, as a results of these limitations, shall be regulated by law.

XII. Protection of Arts and Artists

ARTICLE 64. The State shall protect artistic activities and artists. The State shall take the necessary measures to protect, promote, and support works of art and artists, and encourage the spread of art appreciation.

XIII. The Extent of Social and Economic Rights

ARTICLE 65. The State shall fulfill its duties as laid down in the Constitution in the social and economic fields within the limits of its financial resources, taking into consideration the maintenance of economic stability.
Parts of the Turkish Constitution:
Preamble, Part I, Part II: a, b, c, d, PART III: a, b, c, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Amendment 1987, Index
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