English

Basic Concepts

1. Total Number of Members

The total number of members is 600. The total number of members 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 case of vacancy in the membership of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey due to death or resignation, the total number of members does not change.

2. Legislative Term

A legislative term, which is the period between two general elections, is five years unless it is extended in accordance with the Constitution or the elections are renewed. In other words, although the deputies are elected for five years, the legislative term may be shorter or longer than five years.

3. Legislative Year

A legislative year is the period that starts on October 1st and ends on September 30th. However, starting and ending dates of a legislative year may change due to date of general elections. In this case, the period from the election date to September 30th is considered as the first legislative year, while the period from October 1th to the date of following general election is the final legislative year.

4. Recess and Adjournment

Recess is postponement of the activities of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for a certain period. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey goes into recess on July 1st, unless a different decision is taken by the Plenary, upon the proposal of the Board of Spokespersons.  Duration of recess for one legislative year shall not be more than three months.

Adjournment is the postponement of the activities of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for not more than fifteen 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. Extraordinary Meetings

During recess or adjournment, the Assembly may convene for deliberation on a specific subject upon a summons of the President of the Republic or the Speaker. The President may summon the Assembly directly. The Speaker may summon the Assembly directly or fulfils a request for summons in a reasoned motion signed by one-fifth of the members in seven days at the latest. The Assembly convenes on the date and hour specified in the summons of the President or the Speaker.

The quorum for an extraordinary sitting is 200. If at least 200 members are not present at the beginning of the sitting after the roll call, the summons is dismissed.

In case the session is opened with quorum, the Speaker first has the summons read and the subject matter of the meeting is discussed. Once the required proceedings for the subject are completed, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey goes back to recess or adjournment unless the Assembly decides to continue its activities.

6. Session and Sitting

The meeting of the Plenary opened on a certain day is called “session.” Each session is numbered. The number of the sessions starts from “one” in each legislative year.

The Plenary sessions are suspended for various reasons. Each part of a session between suspensions is called “sitting”. After each suspension, the Speaker announces the opening of the sitting by stating its number.

7. Roll Call and Quorum

The roll call for plenary meetings is one-third of the total number of members, which is 200.

The Speaker may start deliberations if he or she observes that the roll call is present at the Plenary. However, if the Speaker hesitates, he/she might call the roll, after opening the session. If, as a result of the roll call, it is seen that at least one-third of the members are absent, the session might be delayed for one hour at the latest. If the quorum is not present by then, the session is then closed.

Twenty deputies might ask for a roll call by standing up or tabling a motion during discussions before the voting by show of hands is conducted.

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 is 151.

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, 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. As a rule, only the deputies are entitled to attend closed sessions. However, vice presidents, ministers, vice ministers and high ranking executives may be present in closed sessions when state of emergency, or budget bill or the final account bill is discussed.

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 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.

It is possible to hold closed committee meeting upon the request of one-third of the committee members. In such cases, only committee members, vice presidents, ministers, and vice ministers and high ranking executives approved by chairperson of the committee are allowed to attend the meeting.

12. Becoming Null and Void

At the end of each legislative term, written questions, motion of parliamentary investigations, general debates and the laws that the President of the Republic sends back to Assembly for re-consideration will become null and void.

The bills which are unfinalized in a legislative term will be null and void. However, those bills might be re-introduced by the deputies in following legislative term.

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