Parliamentary Buildings and Visitors
1. First Building of the Parliament
The construction of the first parliament building was started by architect Hasip Bey in Ulus district of Ankara in 1915. After Atatürk’s arrival in Ankara on December 27, 1919, the construction was decided to be used as the Assembly building. The mission to change the building to a convenient place for parliamentary meetings was given to Necati Bey, 1st term Deputy for Bursa.
This small building, where all the military and political decisions taken, a new state established and the Republic declared, was used until October 18, 1924. This historical building was handed over from Ministry of Culture to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (GNAT) and it is still used as “Museum of War of Independence”
2. Second Building of the Parliament
The construction of the second building of the Parliament was started in 1923 by architect Vedat (Tek) Bey (1873-1942). The construction was completed in a short time and opening ceremony was made on October 18, 1924. The second building is in the same district with the first building and the two buildings are 100 meters away from each other.
Second building of the parliament was used for 36 years and witnessed many important developments of Turkish political history.
3. Present Building of the Parliament
The architect of the present building of the Parliament is Prof. Clemens Holzmeister (1886-1993) who is also the architect of many public buildings in Ankara. The GNAT has opened a project competition by law on January 11, 1937 for a new parliament building consistent with the 20th Century and carrying monumental characteristics. The project competition, in which 14 projects participated, was finalized on January 28, 1938 and the project of Clemens Holzmeister, which was also liked by Atatürk, was decided to be implemented. The construction was started on October 26, 1939 by the then Speaker Abdulhalik Renda. Because of financial problems and 2nd World War, the construction was paused and subsequently re-started in 1957 and the building was completed and officially opened on January 6, 1961.
Entering into the Premises of the Parliament is possible through two main gates; namely Çankaya Gate and Dikmen Gate.
4. The Main Building and the Plenary Hall
The Grand National Assembly of Turkey is located on 475.521 m2 plot of land and the settlement area of the main building is 19.372 m2. With regard to the functional internal area in total is 56.775 square meters. The facade of the five-storey building measures 248 m2. The Parliamentary building has characteristics and a general structure that symbolize the power and eternity of the Turkish Republic and designed with the qualities reflecting the gravity, solidity and strength. Monumental, balanced and three-dimensional setting is used in all spaces. Just in the middle of the structure and in the highest point of the land, one can see the main building having huge meeting halls with its portico and stairy entrance. In the front facade one can see the wings that are in two parallel lines and the bridges that connect those wings. In the center of the main building is the Honorary Entrance. Under the bridge, there are the entrance gates namely gates number one and two. In the back of the building, the entrance number three and four are located. One can pass from the Honorary Entrance into the Honorary Hall through five huge bronze gates. From here one can go to the Marble Hall and galleries with columns where there are two indoor gardens. There are 27 gates opening up to the Plenary Hall. The Plenary Hall is in the middle, sorrounding the galleries where there are the lobbies of the deputies.
The most important alteration recently in the building of the Grand National Assembly is the renovation of the Plenary Hall. To this end, a project competition was launched with the decision of the Bureau in 1995. The new meeting hall of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was opened on October 1,1998. Among 1511 total seats in the Plenary, 578 are allocated to the deputies and 933 are in the balconies for the guests. Left to the Speaker’s Rostrum are the balconies allocated to the President of the Republic of Turkey and military and civilian bureucrats. Right to the Speaker’s Rostrum are the balcony allocated to the respresentatives of diplomatic missions in Turkey. Just across the Rostrum of the Speaker are the balconies allocated to members of press, former members of the Parliament and their families and also the public.
5. Public Relations Buildings
Prof. Holzmeister, the architect of the main building who was invited to Ankara in 1978, recommended that the Public Relations Building was projected under his supervision. Finally, it was decided that, the plan prepared in accordance with the program based on the preliminary sketches drawn by the architects Ziya Payzın, Muhittin Güreli and Behruz Çinici was to be directed under the supervision of the Parliament. As a result of the study over three projects, the Altuğ-Behruz Çinici Project was decided on and the costruction was launched by signing the contract. Public Relations Buildings constructed to the south of the main building were built in order to ensure that the deputies could meet easily with their constituencies and work in comfort. The buildings were officially opened and accessed to service on January 25, 1984. The buildings have been composed of 6 blocs of four floors each. In those buildings, there are rooms allocated for each of the 550 deputies. There are also offices for the secretaries of the deputies and also administrative and service units. The Public Relations building covers an area of 50.000 m2 and the total area in use is 14.000m2.
6.Visiting the Grand National Assembly of Turkey
The visiting procedures of the groups coming to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey from various cities of Turkey and abroad is carried out by the Guidance and Advertising Bureau of the Press and Public Relations Department of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. After the application of the visitors demanding to visit the Parliament under the supervision of the Guidance and Advertising Bureau, visitors are given an appointment by the Bureau. Those visitors coming to the Parliament upon their appointment are welcomed by the staff of the above mentioned Bureau at the entrance of the Parliament and guidance services are carried out.
Our guests who want to visit Grand National Assembly of Turkey firstly get into contact with the Bureau by phone and should get an appointment with respect to their demand for visit and they should submit their written applications by fax or mail to the Bureau. Demands for visiting groups can be carried out upon the approval of the Questor of the Assembly. Demands concerning the visitor groups can be conveyed to the the Bureau by the deputies, Office of the Speaker, Committees and Parliamentary Friendship Groups.
The premises of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey can be visited everyday except Sunday. When the Parliament is not in session, visiting hours are between 10.00-16.00 hours. Besides, when the Parliament is in session, the visitor groups can take their tour inside the parliament building 2 hours before the session begins. With the decision of the Board of Spokespersons, the working hours and days of the Plenary Session can be altered and those changes may likely coincide with the visiting hours. In such circumstances, the permission of these groups is cancelled and the Bureau informs the persons concerned of the case.
b) Guidance and Advertising Services:
The visitors are initially guided to the public balcony allocated for them inside the Plenary Hall. They are given some information about the Plenary Hall and a presentation is made on the War of Independence, opening up the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Proclamation of the Republic and the former Parliament buildings. Following the questions and answers, they are guided to the galleries, gardens and Monument of Atatürk and are given a certificate and a brochure. The visit to the Parliament concludes with a group photo as an unforgettable memory of the day.
Guidance and Presentation Bureau:
Phone: +312 420 6887
Fax: +312 420 6925