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THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY

PART TWO

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 groupís 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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