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THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY

CHAPTER THREE

SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RIGHTS AND DUTIES

1. Protection of the Family

ARTICLE 41. (As amended on October 17, 2001)

The family is the foundation of the Turkish society and based on the equality between the spouses.

The state shall take the necessary measures and establish the necessary organisation to ensure the peace and welfare of the family, especially where the protection of the mother and children is involved, and recognizing the need for education in the practical application of family planning.

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 Atatürk, on the basis of contemporary science and educational 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 a 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. Utilisation of the Coasts

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

In the utilisation of sea coasts, 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 according to the purpose of utilization and the conditions of 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 the farmers to whom the lands 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 of Persons Engaged in These Activities

ARTICLE 45. The state facilitates 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 growers and producers to be paid the real value of their products.

D. Expropriation

ARTICLE 46. (As amended on October 17, 2001)

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

The compensation for expropriation and the amount regarding its increase rendered by a final judgement shall be paid in cash and in advance. However, the procedure to be applied for compensation for expropriated land 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 cases where the law may allow payment in instalments, the payment period shall not exceed five years, whence payments shall be made in equal instalments.

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

An interest equivalent to the highest interest paid on public claims shall be implemented in the instalments envisaged in the second paragraph.

E. Nationalization and Privatisation

ARTICLE 47. (As amended on August 13, 1999)

Private enterprises performing public services may be nationalized when this is required by the exigencies of public interest.

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

Principles and rules concerning the privatisation of enterprises and assets owned by the State, State Economic Enterprises and other public corporate bodies shall be prescribed by law.

Those investments and services carried out by the State, State Economic Enterprises and other public corporate bodies which could be performed by or delegated to real or corporate bodies through private law contracts shall be determined 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/her choice. 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. (As amended on October 17, 2001)

Everyone has the right and duty to work.

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

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 Organize Labour Unions

ARTICLE 51. (As amended on October 17, 2001)

Employees and employers have the right to form labour unions employers’ associations and higher organizations, without obtaining permission, and they also possess the right to become a member of a union and to freely withdraw from membership, in order to safeguard and develop their economic and social rights and the interests of their members in their labour relations. No one shall be forced to become a member of a union or to withdraw from membership.

The right to form a union shall be solely be restricted by law and with the purposes of safeguarding national security and public order and to prevention of crime commitment, protection of public health and public morals and the rights and freedoms of others.

The formalities, conditions and procedures to be applied in exercising the right to form union shall be prescribed by law.

Membership in more than one labour union cannot be obtained at the same time and in the same work branch.

The scope, exceptions and limits of the rights of civil servants who do not have a worker status are prescribed by law in line with the characteristics of their job.

The regulations, administration and functioning of labour unions and their higher bodies should not be inconsistent with the fundamental characteristics of the Republic and principles of democracy.

D. Activities of Labour Unions

ARTICLE 52. (Repealed on July 2,1995)

VI. Collective Bargaining, Right to Strike and Lockout

A. Right of Collective Bargaining

ARTICLE 53. (As amended on July 23, 1995)

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.

The unions and their higher organizations, which are to be established by the public employees mentioned in the first paragraph of Article 128 and which do not fall under the scope of the first and second paragraphs of the same article and also Article 54, may appeal to judicial authorities on behalf of their members and may hold collective bargaining meetings with the administration in accordance with their aims. If an agreement is reached as a result of collective bargaining, a text of the agreement will be signed by the parties. Such text shall be presented to the Council of Ministers so that administrative or judicial arrangements can be made. If such a text cannot be concluded by collective bargaining, the agreed and disagreed points will also be submitted for the consideration of the Council of Ministers by the relevant parties. The regulations for the execution of this article are stipulated 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 work-place where the strike is being held, as a result of deliberately 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 a 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, and other forms of obstruction are prohibited.

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

VII. Guarantee of Fair Wage

ARTICLE 55. (As amended on October 17, 2001)

Wages shall be paid in return for work.

The state shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers earn a fair wage commensurate with the work they perform and that they enjoy other social benefits.

In determining the minimum wage, the living conditions of the workers and the economic situation 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 citizens to improve the natural environment, and to prevent environmental pollution.

To ensure that everyone leads 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 fulfil 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 need 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 the Youth

ARTICLE 58. The state shall take measures to ensure the training and development of the 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 Atatürk, 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 the 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 measures to ensure 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 home 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 supportive and promotive measures towards that end.

Any limitations to be imposed on such privately owned assets and wealth and the compensation and exemptions to be accorded to the owners of such, as a result 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 growth of appreciation for the arts.

XIII. The Extent of Social and Economic Duties of the State

ARTICLE 65. (As amended on October 17, 2001)

The State shall fulfil its duties as laid down in the Constitution in the social and economic fields within the capacity of its financial resources, taking into consideration the priorities appropriate with the aims of these duties.

CHAPTER FOUR

POLITICAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES

I. Turkish Citizenship

ARTICLE 66. (As amended on October 17, 2001)

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.

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 in appeal 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. (As amended on October 17, 2001)

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 referenda shall be held under the direction and supervision of the judiciary, in accordance with the principles of free, equal, secret, and direct, universal suffrage, and public counting of the votes. However, the conditions under which the Turkish citizens who are abroad shall be able to exercise their right to vote, are regulated by law.

All Turkish citizens over 18 years of age shall have the right to vote in elections and to take part in referenda.

The exercise of these rights shall be regulated by law.

Privates and corporals serving in the armed services, students in military schools, and convicts in penal execution excluding those convicted of negligent offences cannot vote. The Supreme Election Council shall determine the measures to be taken to ensure the safety of the counting of votes when detainees in penal institutions or prisons vote; such voting is done under the on-site direction and supervision of authorized judge. The electoral laws shall be drawn up in such a way as to reconcile the principles of fair representation and consistency in administration.

The amendments made in the electoral laws shall not be applied to the elections to be held within the year from when the amendments go into force.

III. Provisions Relating to Political Parties

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

ARTICLE 68. (As amended on July 23, 1995: 4121/6 Article)

Citizens have the right to form political parties and in accordance with the established procedure to join and withdraw from them. One must be over 18 years of age to become a member of a party.

Political parties are indispensable elements of democratic political life.

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

The statutes and programmes, as well as the activities of political parties shall not be in conflict with the independence of the state, its indivisible integrity with its territory and nation, human rights, the principles of equality and rule of law, sovereignty of the nation, the principles of the democratic and secular republic; they shall not aim to protect or establish class or group dictatorship or dictatorship of any kind, nor shall they incite citizens to crime.

Judges and prosecutors, members of higher judicial organs including those of the Court of Accounts, civil servants in public institutions and organizations, other public servants who are not considered to be labourers by virtue of the services they perform, members of the armed forces and students who are not yet in higher education institutions, shall not become members of political parties.

The membership of the teaching staff at higher education institutions in political parties is regulated by law. This law cannot allow those members to assume responsibilities outside the central organs of the political parties. It also sets forth the regulations which the teaching staff at higher education institutions shall observe as members of political parties.

The principles concerning the membership of students at higher education institutions to political parties are regulated by law.

The state shall provide the political parties with adequate financial means in an equitable manner. The financial assistance to be extended to political parties, as well as procedures related to collection of membership dues and donations are regulated by law.

B. Principles to be Observed by Political Parties

ARTICLE 69. (As amended on October 17, 2001)

The activities, internal regulations and operation of political parties shall be in line with democratic principles. The application of these principles is regulated by law.

Political parties shall not engage in commercial activities.

The income and expenditure of political parties shall be consistent with their objectives. The application of this rule is regulated by law. The auditing of the income, expenditure and acquisitions of political parties as well as the establishment of the conformity to law of their revenue and expenses, methods of auditing and sanctions to be applied in the event of unconformity shall also be regulated by law. The Constitutional Court shall be assisted in performing its task of auditing by the Court of Accounts. The judgments rendered by the Constitutional Court as a result of the auditing shall be final.

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

The permanent dissolution of a political party shall be decided when it is established that the statute and programme of the political party violate the provisions of the fourth paragraph of Article 68.

A political party shall be deemed to become the centre of such actions only when such actions are carried out intensively by the members of that party or the situation is shared implicitly or explicitly by the grand congress, general chairmanship or the central decision-making or administrative organs of that party or by the group’s general meeting or group executive board at the Turkish Grand National Assembly or when these activities are carried out in determination by the above-mentioned party organs directly.

Instead of dissolving them permanently in accordance with the above-mentioned paragraphs, the Constitutional Court may rule the concerned party to be deprived of State aid wholly or in part with respect to intensity of the actions brought before the court.

The foundation and activities of political parties, their supervision and dissolution, or their deprival of State aid wholly or in part as well as the election expenditures and procedures of the political parties and candidates, are regulated by law in accordance with the above-mentioned principles.

IV. Right to Enter Public Service

A. Entry into Public Service

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

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

VI. Obligation to Pay Taxes

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

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. (As amended on October 17, 2001)

Citizens and foreigners resident considering the principle of reciprocity have the right to apply in writing to the competent authorities and to the Turkish Grand National Assembly with regard to the requests and complaints concerning themselves or the public.

The result of the application concerning himself shall be made known to the petitioner in writing without delay.

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


Parts of the Turkish Constitution: Previous - Next
Preamble, Part I, Part II: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Part III: Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Part IV, Part V, Part VI, Part VII, Index
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