Duties and Powers
No person or organ in the Republic of Turkey can enjoy the power of the State if its source is not derived from the Constitution. Sovereignty belongs to the Nation without any reservation or condition and is used through competent organs in compliance with the principles set forth in the Constitution. The legislative power is used by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey on behalf of the Turkish Nation and this right is inalienable.
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey shall be composed of five hundred and fifty (550) deputies directly elected from 81 provinces and 85 electoral districts in total.
As per Article 87 of the Constitution, the duties and powers of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey have been stated as follows:
· Enacting, amending and repealing laws,
· Scrutinizing the Council of Ministers and ministers,
· Authorizing the Council of Ministers to issue decrees with the force of law on certain matters,
· Debating and adopting the Budget Bills and the Final Account Bills,
· Deciding on issuing currency,
· Deciding on the declaration of war,
· Approving the ratification of international treaties,
· Deciding on granting general amnesty and pardon,
· Exercising the powers and carrying out the duties foreseen in the other articles of the Constitution.
In other articles of the Constitution, the following duties and authorities have been granted to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey:
· Amending the Constitution,
· Approving developmental plans,
· Adopting the Rules of Procedure of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey,
· Approving, amending and rejecting decrees having the force of law,
· Approving a decision on a state of emergency and martial law, extending their duration to not exceed four months at every turn, and removing a state of emergency and martial law.
· Approving decrees having the force of law to be issued by the Council of Ministers convening under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic during the state of emergency and martial law,
· Electing the Speaker and the Bureau members of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey,
· Electing the members of the Constitutional Court,
· Electing the members of the Supreme Council of Radio and Television,
· Electing the President and the members of the Court of Accounts,
· Electing the Chief Public Auditor,
· Deciding to renew the election of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey prematurely,
· Granting the Council of Ministers a vote of confidence when it is formed or in the course of the ministers’ offices,
· Impeachment of the President of the Republic for high treason,
· Lifting parliamentary immunity,
· Deciding on the loss of membership,
· Permitting the deployment of Turkish Armed Forces abroad and admitting the presence of foreign armed forces in Turkey,
· Scrutinizing public economic enterprises.
2. Election of Members for Certain Institutions
Elections held by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey can be classified into two groups. Some of those elections are held for the organs of the Assembly such as the Bureau and committees.
Apart from these elections, elections are held for membership of the Court of Accounts, the Supreme Council of Radio and Television, and the Constitutional Court.
Election of Members for the Constitutional Court
Three members of the Constitutional Court, which comprises 17 members, are elected by the Assembly. The Assembly elects two members from three candidates for each vacant seat. The nominated candidates are chosen from the presidents and members of the Plenary of Court of Accounts. The Assembly also elects a member from three self-employed lawyers who are to be nominated by the presidents of the Bar Associations through secret ballot. During this election, in the first ballot two-thirds of the total number of members, and in the second ballot, an absolute majority of the total number of members are required. In case an absolute majority cannot be obtained in the second ballot, a third ballot takes place between the candidates receiving the highest number of votes. The candidate with the highest vote in the third ballot is elected as a member.
Election of Members for the Supreme Council of Radio and Television
The Supreme Council of Radio and Television is composed of nine members elected by the Assembly. The term of office of the Council members is six years. Election of one-third of the members is renewed every two years. Two months before the end of office, if there is a membership vacancy for any reason, an election is held through the same procedure within a month following the date of the vacancy or the end of recess (if the Assembly is in recess).
In this election, allocation of the vacant memberships to the political party groups is determined by taking into consideration the number of members elected from the quota of the political party groups in the first election, and the current percentage of the political party groups.
In elections to be held due to unexpired tenure, the member elected completes the rest of the tenure of his predecessor. Twice the number of candidates to be chosen according to the percentage of the number of members of the political party groups is nominated as candidate(s) for this election. The members of the Supreme Council are elected by the Plenary from among the members by taking the number allocated to each political party group into consideration. The election of the members of the Supreme Council is held within ten days after the nomination and declaration of candidates.
Election of the First President and the Members of the Court of Accounts
The election of the First President and the members of the Court of Accounts is regulated by the Law on Court of Accounts (Law No.6085). In compliance with the aforesaid law, four times the number of candidates for the First President and members of the Court of Accounts are nominated by the General Board of the Court of Accounts and submitted to the Office of the Speaker.
Regarding the elections for the President and the members of the Court of Accounts in the Plenary of Assembly, a “Provisional Committee on the Primary Election for the President and the Members of the Court of Accounts” has been established in order to make the necessary assessments and nominate candidates for the election.
The Provisional Committee on Primary Election consists of fifteen members selected from the members of the Committee on Plan and Budget.
The chairperson of the Committee on Plan and Budget attends the meetings of the Provisional Committee on Primary Election as part of his or her political party group’s quota and chairs the committee.
The Provisional Committee convenes by absolute majority. Candidates are elected by secret ballot.
When a candidate is elected, an absolute majority of the total number of members in the first ballot and the absolute majority of the votes cast in the second ballot are required. If no candidate has obtained the necessary votes in the first and second ballots, candidates receiving the highest number of votes cast in the third ballot are elected as members.
During the election, in the event of a tie, a new ballot is held among the candidates having an equal vote. The names of the candidates designated, twice the number of vacant seats in the Provisional Committee on Primary Election, are submitted to the Plenary.
The election in the Plenary is held by secret ballot by marking the special box next to the names of the candidates. Votes cast for more than the number of members are regarded as invalid.