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Turkey Table of Contents


Electoral System

The 1982 constitution stipulates that elections are to be held on the basis of free universal suffrage with direct, equal, and secret balloting. Ballots are to be sorted and counted publicly under the supervision of judicial authorities. The Supreme Electoral Council, composed of eleven judges elected by the Court of Appeals (also known as the Court of Cassation) and the Council of State from among their own members, has jurisdiction over all electoral proceedings. The Supreme Electoral Council is empowered to rule in cases of complaints concerning the validity of elections and may declare a particular election invalid. The executive and legislative branches of the government are prohibited from exercising any control over the electoral process.

Prior to the first elections under the new constitution, the NSC issued the Electoral Law of June 1983 (Law No. 2839), which stipulates that only parties obtaining 10 percent or more of the total national vote can be represented in the National Assembly. Law No. 2839 maintains the system of proportional representation on a provincial basis, but subdivides the more populous provinces for electoral purposes so that no single constituency can elect more than seven deputies. Each province automatically is assigned at least one seat, regardless of population. These measures work to the advantage of the larger parties and the rural provinces.


Following the military coup of September 1980, Turkey was ruled by the NSC, a five-member collective body representing all branches of the armed forces. The NSC scheduled the first elections under the 1982 constitution for November 1983. The new National Assembly convened soon after the elections, and subsequently a civilian government consisting of a prime minister and a Council of Ministers was formed. In late 1983 and early 1984, the NSC turned over its executive and legislative functions to these new institutions.

Data as of January 1995