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The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey





I. Turkish Citizenship

ARTICLE 66. Everyone bound to the Turkish State through the bond of citizenship is a Turk.

The child of a Turkish father or a Turkish mother is a Turk. The citizenship of a child of a foreign father and a Turkish mother shall be defined by law.

Citizenship can be acquired under the conditions stipulated by law, and shall be forfeited only in cases determined by law.

No Turk shall be deprived of citizenship, unless he commits an act incompatible with loyalty to the motherland.

Recourse to the courts, against the decisions and proceedings related to the deprivation of citizenship, shall not be denied.

II. Right to Vote, to Be Elected, and to Engage in Political Activity

ARTICLE 67. In conformity with the conditions set forth in the law, citizens have the right to vote, to be elected, and to engage in political activities independently or in a political party, and to take part in a referendum.

Elections and referendums shall be held under the direction and supervision of the judiciary, according to the principles of free, equal, secret, direct, universal suffrage, and public counting of the votes.

All Turkish citizens entering the age of 20 in the year of election and referendum shall have the right to vote in elections and take part in a referendum, the months and days of the age not taken into account.

The exercise of these rights shall be regulated by law.

Conscripts serving in the Armed Services, students in military schools, and detainees and convicts in prisons cannot vote.

III. Provisions Relating to Political Parties

A. Forming Parties, Membership and Withdrawal from Membership in a Party

ARTICLE 68. Citizens have the right to form political parties, and to join and withdraw from them in accordance with the established procedure. To become a member of a party one must be over 21 years of age.

Political parties are indispensable elements of the democratic political system.

Political parties shall be founded without prior permission and shall pursue their activities in accordance with the provisions set forth in the Constitution and law.

The statutes and programmes of political parties shall not be in conflict with the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation, human rights, national sovereignty, and the principles of the democratic and secular Republic.

Political parties whose aim is to support and to set up the domination of a class or group, or any kind of dictatorship, cannot be formed.

Political parties shall not organise and function abroad, shall not form discriminative auxiliary bodies such as women's or youth branches, nor shall they establish foundations.

Judges and prosecutors, members of higher judicial organs, members of the teaching staff at institutions of higher education, members of the Higher Education Council, civil servants in public organisations and corporations, and other public servants who are not considered to be labourers by virtue of the services they perform, students, and members of the Armed Forces, shall not become members of political parties.

B. Principles to be Observed by Political Parties

ARTICLE 69. Political parties shall not engage in activities outside the lines of their statutes and programmes, and shall not contravene the restrictions set forth in Article 14 of the Constitution; those that contravene them shall be dissolved permanently.

Political parties shall not have political ties and engage in political cooperation with associations, unions, foundations, cooperatives, and public professional organisations and their higher bodies in order to implement and strengthen their party policies, nor shall they receive material assistance from these bodies.

The internal functioning and the decisions of political parties shall not be contrary to the principles of democracy.

The auditing of political parties shall be carried out by the Constitutional Court.

The Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor shall examine, with priority, the conformity of the status and programmes of new parties and of the status of their founders in view of the Constitution and the law; and shall also follow their activities.

The dissolution of political parties shall be decided by the Constitutional Court after the filing of a suit by the Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Republic.

The founding members and administrators at every level of a political party which has been permanently dissolved shall not become founding members, administrators, or comptrollers of a new political party; nor shall any new political party be founded, the majority of whose members are former members of a political party previously dissolved.

Political parties shall not receive assistance in kind or cash from foreign states, international organisations, associations, and groups in foreign countries, nor shall they take orders from these bodies, or participate in their decisions and activities which are prejudicial to the independence and territorial integrity of Turkey. Political parties contravening the provisions of this paragraph shall also be dissolved permanently.

The formulation and activities, supervision, and dissolution of political parties shall be regulated by law within the above mentioned provisions.

IV. Right to Enter the Public Service

A. Entry into the Public Service

ARTICLE 70. Every Turk has the right to enter the public service.

No criteria other than the qualifications for the office concerned shall be taken into consideration for recruitment into the public service.

B. Declaration of Assets

ARTICLE 71. Declaration of assets by persons entering public service, and the frequency of such declaration, shall be determined by law. Those serving in the legislative and executive organs shall not be exempted from this requirement.

V. National Service

ARTICLE 72. National service is the right and duty of every Turk. The manner in which this service shall be performed, or considered as performed, either in the Armed Forces or in the public service, shall be regulated by law.

VI. Obligation to Pay Taxes

ARTICLE 73. Everyone is under the obligation to pay taxes according to his financial resources, in order to meet public expenditures.

An equitable and balanced distribution of the tax burden is the social objective of fiscal policy.

Taxes, fees, duties, and other such financial impositions shall be imposed, amended, or revoked by law.

The Council of Ministers may be empowered to amend the percentages of exemption, exceptions, and reductions in taxes, fees, duties, and other such financial impositions within the minimum and maximum limits prescribed by law.

VII. Right of Petition

ARTICLE 74. Citizens have the right to apply in writing to the competent authorities and to the Turkish Grand National Assembly with regard to requests and complaints concerning themselves or the public.

The result of the application concerning himself shall be made known to the petitioner in writing.

The way of exercising this right shall be determined by law.

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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