MEETING OF THE PARLIAMENT:

The current Constitution of Turkey allows the Parliament to convene on its own call during recess. With the proposed amendment only the President will have the power to call for a meeting of the Parliament during recess.

ELIGIBILITY TO THE PARLIAMENT:

According to the current Constitution the age requirement to stand as a candidate in an election is 25. The proposed amendment aims to lower the required age to 18.

THE NUMBER OF SEATS:

The current number of seats in the Turkish Parliament is 550. The proposed amendment aims to raise this number to 600.

ELECTORAL PERIOD:

According to the current Constitution the ministers of Justice, Interior and Communication are replaced by independent persons during electoral periods to ensure impartiality. The purpose of the proposed amendment is to do away with this practice.

ELECTIONS:

According to the current Constitution parliamentary elections and presidential elections should be held separately. If the amendment is accepted, both elections will be held together, at the same time.

DISSOLUTION OF THE PARLIAMENT:

The current Constitution does not authorize the President to dissolve the Parliament. The Parliament can only be dispersed if the government fails to gain a vote of confidence or if the government is forced to resign after a motion of no confidence. With the proposed amendment the President will be authorized to renew parliamentary elections at his/her own will. In this case, the President also dissolves him/herself until elections.

DECREE LAWS:

Currently it is the Cabinet that is authorized to issue decree laws, only within the limits of an  empowering act passed by the Parliament. The proposed amendment gives this power to the President who then will be able to unilaterally issue decree laws on executive matters, without needing an empowering act.

MINISTERS:

In the current situation the President appoints the prime-minister and the latter selects ministers who take office only after receiving a vote of confidence at the Parliament. The proposed amendment aims to make the President the head of the executive branch of government. He/she will be able to select ministers without parliamentary authorization.

THE EXECUTIVE POWER:

According to the current Constitution executive power is vested in the President and the Cabinet. With the proposed amendment the executive power will be vested in the President only.

CHECKS AND BALANCES:

In the current situation the Parliament has the power to oversee the Cabinet and to remove ministers by a motion of no confidence. The proposed amendment eliminates the power of the Parliament to oversee the Cabinet and its right to a motion of no confidence.

STATE OF EMERGENCY (SoE):

According to the current Constitution the Cabinet is authorized to declare the State of Emergency in the case of a natural disaster, epidemic or a severe economic crisis. The proposed amendment gives the President the authority to unilaterally declare the SoE in the case of a state of war, mobilization, insurrection, uprising, violence or disturbance of the public peace.

LEGISLATION:

Currently, both members of parliament and the Cabinet have the right to propose legislation. With the proposed amendment the Cabinet will no longer have the right to propose legislation.

IMPARTIALITY OF THE PRESIDENT:

The current Constitution obliges the President to cut existing ties with political parties upon election. The proposed amendment allows the President to remain member or leader of a political party.

OFFICE OF THE VICE PRESIDENTS:

There is no office of Vice Presidents in the current Constitution. The proposed amendment allows the President to appoint anyone as Vice President, without any criteria. Vice Presidents (plural) obtain legal immunity and can only be tried at the Supreme Court.

ACTING PRESIDENT:

In the current situation, on the event of the President’s death, incapacity or during his/her foreign visits, the Chair of the Parliament serves as acting President. With the proposed amendment one of the Vice Presidents, who are appointed by the President, would serve as acting President in any event that leaves the Office of the President empty.

HIGH-RANKING OFFICIALS:

According to the current Constitution procedures and criteria for the appointment of high-ranking officials (under-secretaries, general directors, diplomats etc.) are decided by an act of the Parliament and the appointments are open to judicial review. With the proposed amendment the officials will be appointed directly by the President and relevant criteria will be determined by presidential decrees.

MARTIAL COURTS:

Currently, members of the Turkish Armed Forces are tried before martial courts in cases of a breach of official duty. The proposed amendment abolishes all martial courts.

OVERSEE OF THE ARMY:

Currently, the State Supervisory Council under the Office of the President does not have the authority to oversee the Turkish Armed Forces. The proposed amendment gives the Council this authority.

APPROVAL OF THE BUDGET:

According to the current Constitution the government budget, proposed by the Cabinet, becomes valid after the approval of the Parliament. With the proposed amendment it will be possible that a budget, now proposed by the President, is put into effect without parliamentary approval. If the Parliament would not approve the budget, the previous year’s budget would be used with the previous year’s increment ratio.

THE SUPREME BOARD OF JUDGES AND PROSECUTORS:

The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors is, currently, responsible for the appointment and dismissal of the members of the judiciary. The current Constitution provides that 20% of the board members are appointed by the President and the remaining members are elected by the members of the judiciary. The proposed amendment entails that 46% of the board will be appointed by the President and the rest will be appointed by a majority in Parliament. Elections among members of the judiciary are abolished.