Duties and Powers

The duties and powers of the President have be stated in Articles 101, 102, 103, 104, 105 and 106 of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey.

A. Qualifications and Impartiality (Amended Article 101) (*)

The President shall be elected by the people, from among the members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly who are over forty years old and who have completed their higher education or from among Turkish citizens who fulfill these requirements and who are eligible to be members of parliament.

The term of office of the President is five years. A person can be elected President for a maximum of two terms.

The nomination of a candidate for the Presidency from within the members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly or from outside the Turkish Grand National Assembly shall be possible with a written proposal by twenty members of parliament. Furthermore, when the total of the valid votes is calculated together in the latest member of parliament general elections, the political parties who surpassed ten percent can show a joint candidate.

The President-elect, if a member of a political party, shall sever his/her relations with his/her party and his/her status as a member of the Turkish Grand National Assembly shall cease.

B. Election (Amended Article 102) (*)

The election of the President shall begin within sixty days before the term of office of the incumbent President expires; in case the office is vacated for any reason, then the election shall be completed within sixty days following the vacancy.

In the election, that shall be made with a general vote, the candidate who receives the absolute majority of the valid votes becomes the elected President. If this absolute majority is not obtained in the first voting, then a second voting shall be held on the second Sunday following this voting. The two candidates, who received the most votes in the first voting, shall participate in this voting and the candidate who receives the majority of the valid votes becomes the President.

In case of death or losing the eligibility to be elected of one of the candidates, who acquired the right to participate in the second voting, then in the second voting, by substituting according to the place in the first voting of the candidacy that becomes vacant, the second voting is held. In case a single candidate remains in the second voting, then this voting shall be held in the form of a referendum. In case the candidate receives a majority of the valid votes, then that candidate becomes the elected President.

The term of office of the incumbent President shall continue until the President-elect takes office.

The procedures and principles related to the election of the President are organized with the law.

(*) In accordance with the Law No. 3376 on Submitting to a Referendum the Constitutional Amendments and dated 23/05/1987, which was published in the No. 26554 Official Gazette and dated 16/06/2007 to be submitted to a referendum, the Law No 5678 on Making an Amendment in Some Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey and dated 31/05/2007 and the amendment to the Law No. 5697 and dated 16/10/2007, were accepted at the end of the referendum held on 21/10/2007 and related to this, the Election Commission Decision dated 31/10/2007 was published in the No. 26686 Official Gazette.

C. Oath (Article 103)

On assuming office, the President shall take the following oath before the Turkish Grand National Assembly:

In my capacity as President I swear upon my honor and integrity before the Turkish Grand National Assembly and before history to safeguard the existence and independence of the State, the indivisible integrity of the country and the Nation and the absolute sovereignty of the Nation, to abide by the Constitution, the rule of law, democracy, the principles of the secular Republic, not to deviate from the ideal according to which everyone is entitled to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms under conditions of national peace and prosperity and in the spirit of national solidarity and justice, and do my utmost to preserve and exalt the glory and honor of the Republic of Turkey and perform without bias the functions that I have assumed.

D. Duties and Powers (Article 104)

The President is the head of the State. In this capacity, he/she shall represent the Republic of Turkey and the unity of the Turkish Nation; he/she shall ensure the implementation of the Constitution, and the regular and harmonious functioning of the organs of State.

To this end, the duties he/she shall perform, and the powers he/she shall exercise, in accordance with the conditions stipulated in the relevant articles of the Constitution are as follows:

a) Those related to legislation:

  • To deliver, if he/she deems necessary, the opening address of the Turkish Grand National Assembly on the first day of the legislative year,
  • To summon the Turkish Grand National Assembly to meet, when necessary,
  • To promulgate laws,
  • To return laws to the Turkish Grand National Assembly to be reconsidered,
  • To submit to referendum, if he/she deems necessary, legislation regarding amendments to the Constitution,
  • To appeal to the Constitutional Court for an annulment in part or entirety of certain provisions of laws having the force of law, and the Rules of Procedure of the Turkish Grand National Assembly on the grounds that they are unconstitutional in form or in content, and
  • To call new elections for the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

b) Those related to the executive function:

  • To appoint the Prime Minister and to accept his resignation,
  • To appoint and dismiss Ministers on the proposal of the Prime Minister,
  • To preside over the Council of Ministers or to call the Council of Ministers to meet under his/her chairmanship whenever he/she deems it necessary,
  • To accredit representatives of the Turkish State to foreign states and to receive the representatives of foreign states to the Republic of Turkey,
  • To ratify and promulgate international treaties,
  • To represent the Commander-in-Chief of the Turkish Armed Forces on behalf of the Turkish Grand National Assembly,
  • To decide on the use of the Turkish Armed Forces,
  • To appoint the Chief of General Staff,
  • To call the National Security Council to meet,
  • To preside over the National Security Council,
  • To proclaim martial law or state of emergency, and to issue decrees having the force of law, in accordance with the decisions of the Council of Ministers convened under his/her chairmanship,
  • To sign decrees,
  • To remit, on grounds of chronic illness, disability or old age, all or part of the sentences imposed on certain individuals,
  • To appoint the members and Chairman of the State Supervisory Council,
  • To instruct the State Supervisory Council to carry out enquiries, investigations and inspections,
  • To appoint the members of the Higher Education Council, and
  • To appoint rectors of universities,

c) Those related to the judiciary:

To appoint the members of the Constitutional Court, one-fourth of the members of the Council of State, the Chief Public Prosecutor and the Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor of the High Court of Appeals, the members of the Military High Court of Appeals, the members of the Supreme Military Administrative Court and the members of the Supreme Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors.

The President shall also exercise powers of election and appointment and perform the other duties conferred on him by the Constitution and laws.

E. Accountability and Non-accountability (Article 105)

All Presidential decrees except those which the President is empowered to enact by him/herself without the signatures of the Prime Minister and the minister concerned, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and other laws, shall be signed by the Prime Minister, and the ministers concerned. The Prime Minister and the ministers shall be accountable for these decrees. No appeal shall be made to any legal authority, including the Constitutional Court, against the decisions and orders signed by the President on his/her own initiative.

The President may be impeached for high treason on the proposal of at least one-third of the total number of members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and by the decision of at least three-quarters of the total number of members.

F. Deputation for the President (Article 106)

In the event of a temporary absence of the President on account of illness, travel abroad or similar circumstances, the Chairman of the Turkish Grand National Assembly shall serve as Acting President and exercise the powers of the President until the President resumes his/her functions, and in the event that the Presidency falls vacant as a result of death or resignation or for any other reason, until the election of a new President.