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Basic Concepts

A. BASIC CONCEPTS

1. Total Number of Deputies

The total number of deputies is 550. The total number of deputies shall be taken into account in calculating the required majority for meetings and decisions as stated in the Constitution, the Rules of Procedure, and laws.

In cases when the number of deputies decreases due to death or resignation, the total number of  deputies does not change.

2. Legislative Term

The legislative term is four years, which is the period between two parliamentary elections. However, the legislative term ends before four years are over when an early election is held, or the term lengthens when the parliamentary elections are postponed due to war. In other words, although the deputies are elected for four years, the legislative term may be shorter or longer than four years.

3. Legislative Year

The legislative year commences on October 1 and ends September 30. However, the first and last days of the legislative year may differ because of parliamentary elections. In this case, the period from the election date to September 30 is considered as the first legislative year, and the last legislative year covers the period from October 1 to the new election.

4. Recess and Adjournment

A recess is the postponement of parliamentary business for a specific period. A recess automatically begins on July1 and lasts until September 30. However, the Plenary may decide to continue sitting after July 1 at the request of the Board of Spokespersons.  A recess cannot be longer than three months within a parliamentary year.

An adjournment is the postponement of parliamentary business for a specific period of no longer than 15 days. The decision on the adjournment is taken by the Plenary upon a proposal of the Board of Spokespersons.

During the recess and adjournment, the Plenary and the committees cannot hold meetings and the  periods specified in the Rules of Procedure do not run. However, the committees may continue to work only if the Plenary decides to do so upon a proposal of the Speaker.

5. Extra-Ordinary Meetings

During the recess or adjournment, the Assembly may convene for deliberation on a specific subject upon a meeting call of the President of the Republic or the Speaker. The President may call the Assembly for the meeting directly or upon the request of the Council of Ministers. The Speaker may call the Assembly for the meeting directly or upon the written and reasoned request for the meeting of one-fifth of the members of the Assembly within seven days. The Assembly convenes on the date and hour specified in the meeting call of the President or the Speaker.

The quorum for an extraordinary sitting is 184. If at least 184 members are not present at the beginning of the sitting after the roll call, the call for an extraordinary meeting is dismissed.

If a quorum exists after the call for an extraordinary meeting is read out, the subject matter is deliberated. When the deliberation on the subject matter is completed, the recess or adjournment continues if the Plenary does not decide otherwise.

6. Sitting and Session

The meeting of the Plenary opened on a specific day is defined as a “sitting.” Each sitting is numbered. The number of the sittings starts from “one” in each parliamentary year.

The Plenary sittings are suspended for various reasons. The part of the sitting between two suspensions is defined as a “session.”  After each suspension, the Speaker announces the session open by stating its number.

7. Quorum and Roll Call

The quorum for plenary meetings is one-third of the total number of deputies, which is 184.

The Speaker may start deliberations if he or she observes that the quorum is present at the Plenary after opening the sitting. However, if the Speaker hesitates about the presence of the quorum, he or she conducts a roll call by electronic devices. If it is found that a quorum does not exist after the roll call, the sitting is suspended for a maximum of one hour. If the quorum does not exist after the suspension, the sitting is closed.

A roll call may be requested after the deliberation starts. Such request may be initiated by 20 deputies by standing up or by tabling a motion before voting by show of hands.

8. Majority for Decision

The Plenary decides by the vote of an absolute majority of deputies present at the sitting. However, the majority for a decision shall be one more than one-fourth of the total number of deputies in any case, which is139.

If the majority for a decision does not exist, the voting shall be repeated. If the majority for a decision does not exist after three consecutive votes, the sitting shall be adjourned.

9. Order Paper

An Order Paper is an official document that contains information about bills, official memoranda, committee reports, questions, and motions of general debate, censure, parliamentary investigation, inquiry and all stages of parliamentary proceedings. The Order Paper is published on each sitting day of the Assembly except Saturday and Sunday, distributed to deputies, and included on the web page of the Assembly.

The items proposed to the Office of the Speaker, the committees to which items are referred, and items included in the agenda of the Plenary can be followed from the Order Paper.

10. Committee Report

The committee reports on the bills and reports by committees of investigation and inquiry are numbered in sequence, published, and distributed to the deputies. The committee reports shall be followed by that sequence number after publishing. Sequence numbers for committee reports start from “one” for each legislative term.

The published committee reports on the bills include the text and explanatory memorandum of the bills, the main committee report, if any, the secondary committee report, dissenting opinions, and a final version of the bill as adopted by the committee.

The published reports of the committees of investigation and inquiry contain the motions about the establishment of the committee, the committee report, and dissenting opinions.

Committee reports are also put on the web site of the Assembly and distributed to the deputies.

11. Closed Session

The Plenary may hold closed sessions. Only the deputies, ministers, the President of the Republic and sworn officials are entitled to attend closed sessions.

The Prime Minister, ministers, a political party group and 20 deputies may table a written motion for a closed session. When such a motion is tabled, everybody except those who are entitled to attend a closed session is excluded from the Plenary, and the justification for such a motion is read out in the Plenary. This justification is explained by the Prime Minister, a minister, a spokesperson of a political party group, the first signatory of the motion, or another deputy indicated by the first signatory. The Plenary votes by show of hands on whether the secret session is held or not.

Those present at the closed session shall not give any explanation for the debates in that session, and such deliberations are protected as a state secret.

When the reason for the closed session disappears, the Speaker proposes to continue the debates in a public session. The Plenary decides on the proposal by show of hands. The Plenary decides on the publication of the minutes of the closed session and their summaries by show of hands upon the proposal of the Board of Spokespersons.

The minister concerned or one-third of the committee members may request to hold a closed committee meeting which no one except committee members and ministers is allowed to attend.

12. Becoming Null and Void

The bills, oral and written questions, motions of parliamentary investigations, inquiries, general debates and censures that cannot be concluded become null and void at the end of each legislative term. The bills becoming null and void may be re-introduced to the Assembly by deputies or the government during the next legislative term.

The laws the President of the Republic sends back to the Assembly for re-consideration, decrees having the force of the law, and notices from the Court of Accounts are referred to the committees again at the beginning of the new legislative term.

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