BACK TO ORIGINAL
PART TWO / FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES
I. Nature of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
ARTICLE 12. Everyone possesses inherent fundamental rights and
freedoms which are inviolable and inalienable.
The fundamental rights and freedoms also include the duties and
responsibilities of the individual towards society, his family, and other
II. Restriction of Fundamental Rights and
ARTICLE 13. Fundamental rights and freedoms may be
restricted by law, in conformity with the letter and spirit of the
Constitution, with the aim of safeguarding the indivisible integrity of
the State with its territory and nation, national sovereignty, the
Republic, national security, public order, general peace, the public
interest, public morals and public health, and also for specific reasons
set forth in the relevant Articles of the Constitution.
General and specific grounds for restrictions of fundamental rights and
freedoms shall not conflict with the requirements of the democratic order
of society and shall not be imposed for any purpose other than those for
which they are prescribed.
The general grounds for restriction
set forth in this article shall apply for all fundamental rights and
III. Prohibition of Abuse of Fundamental Rights and
ARTICLE 14. None of the rights and freedoms embodied
in the Constitution shall be exercised with the aim of violating the
indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation, of
endangering the existence of the Turkish State and Republic, of
destroying fundamental rights and freedoms, of placing the government of the
State under the control of an individual or a group of people, or
establishing the hegemony of one social class over others, or creating
discrimination on the basis of language, race, religion or sect, or of
establishing by any other means a system of government based on these
concepts and ideas.
The sanctions to be applied against those who
violate these prohibitions, and those who incite and provoke others to
the same end shall be determined by law.
No provision of this
Constitution shall be interpreted in a manner that would grant the right
of destroying the rights and freedoms embodied in the Constitution.
IV. Suspension of the Exercise of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
ARTICLE 15. In times of war, mobilisation, martial law, or state
of emergency, the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms can be
partially or entirely suspended, or measures may be taken, to the extent
required by the exigencies of the situation, which derogate the
guarantees embodied in the Constitution, provided that obligations under
international law are not violated.
Even under the circumstances
indicated in the first paragraph, the individual's right to life, and the
integrity of his material and spiritual entity shall be inviolable except
where the death sentence has been decided upon; no one may be compelled to
reveal his religion, conscience, thought or opinion, nor be accused on
account of them; offences and penalties may not be made retroactive, nor
may anyone be held guilty until so proven by a court judgment.
V. Status of Aliens
ARTICLE 16. The fundamental rights
and freedoms of aliens may be restricted by law in a manner consistent
with international law.
THE RIGHTS AND
I. Personal Inviolability,
Material and Spiritual Entity of the individual
Everyone has the right to life and the right to protect and develop his
material and spiritual entity.
The physical integrity of the
individual shall not be violated except under medical necessity and in
cases prescribed by law; he shall not be subject to scientific or medical
experiments without his consent.
No one shall be subjected to
torture or ill-treatment; no one shall be subjected to penalties or
treatment incompatible with human dignity.
Cases of carrying out
death penalties under court sentences, the act of killing in
self-defense, occurrences of death as a result of the use of a weapon
permitted by law as a necessary measure in cases of: apprehension, or the
execution of warrants of arrest, the prevention of escape of lawfully
arrested or convicted persons, the quelling of a riot or insurrection,
the execution of the orders of authorized bodies during martial law or state
of emergency are outside of the provision of paragraph 1.
II. Prohibition of Forced Labour
ARTICLE 18. No one
shall be required to perform forced labour. Unpaid compulsory work is
The term forced labour does not include work required
of an individual while serving a court sentence or under detention,
services required from citizens during a state of emergency, and physical
or intellectual work necessitated by the requirements of the country as a
civic obligation, provided that the form and conditions of such labour are
prescribed by law.
III. Personal Liberty and Security
ARTICLE 19. Everyone has the right to liberty and security of
No one shall be deprived of his liberty except in the
following cases where procedure and conditions are prescribed by law:
execution of sentences restricting liberty and the implementation of
security measures decided by court order or as a result of an obligation
upon him designated by law; execution of an order for the purpose of the
educational supervision of a minor or for bringing him before the
competent authority; execution of measures taken in conformity with the
relevant legal provision for the treatment, education or correction in
institutions of a person of unsound mind, an alcoholic or drug addict or
vagrant or a person spreading contagious diseases, when such persons
constitute a danger to the public, apprehension or detention of a person
who enters or attempts to enter illegally into the country or concerning
whom a deportation or extradition order has been issued.
Individuals against whom there are strong indications of having committed
an offence can be arrested by decision of a judge solely for the purposes
of preventing escape, or preventing the destruction or alteration of
evidence as well as in similar other circumstances which necessitate
detention and are prescribed by law. Apprehension of a person without a
decision by a judge shall be resorted to only in cases when a person is
caught in the act of committing an offence or in cases where delay is likely
to thwart justice; the conditions for such apprehension shall be defined
Individuals arrested or detained shall be promptly
notified, and in all cases in writing, or orally, when the former is not
possible, of the grounds for their arrest or detention and the charges
against them; in cases of offences committed collectively this
notification shall be made, at the latest, before the individual is brought
before a judge.
The person arrested or detained shall be
brought before a judge within forty-eight hours and within fifteen days
in the case of offences committed collectively, excluding the time taken
to send him to the court nearest to the place of arrest. No one can be
deprived of his liberty without the decision of a judge after the expiry of
the above specified periods. These periods may be extended during a state
of emergency, under martial law or in time of war.
Notification of the situation of the person arrested or detained shall be
made to the next of kin, except in cases of definite necessity pertaining
to the risks of revealing the scope and subject of the investigation
Persons under detention shall have the
right to request to be tried within a reasonable time or to be released
during investigation or prosecution. Release may be made conditional to
the presentation of an appropriate guarantee with a view to securing the
presence of the person at the trial proceedings and the execution of the
Persons deprived of their liberty under any
circumstances are entitled to apply to the appropriate judicial authority
for speedy conclusion of proceedings regarding their situation and for
their release if the restriction placed upon them is not lawful.
Damages suffered by persons subjected to treatment contrary to the above
provisions shall be compensated for according to law, by the State.
IV. Privacy and Protection of Private Life
Privacy of the Individual's Life
ARTICLE 20. Everyone has the
right to demand respect for his private and family life. Privacy of
individual and family life cannot be violated. exceptions necessitated by
judiciary investigation and prosecution are reserved.
there exists a decision duly passed by a judge in cases explicitly defined
by law, and unless there exists an order of an agency authorised by law
in cases where delay is deemed prejudicial, neither the person nor the
private papers, nor belongings of an individual shall be searched nor
shall they be seized.
B. Inviolability of Domicile
ARTICLE 21. The domicile of an individual shall not be violated. Unless
there exists a decision duly passed by a judge in cases explicitly
defined by law, and unless there exists an order of an agency authorised
by law in cases where delay is deemed prejudicial, no domicile may be
entered or searched, or the property therein seized.
Freedom of Communication
ARTICLE 22. Everyone has the right
to freedom of communication.
Secrecy of communication is
Communication shall not be impeded nor its secrecy
be violated, unless there exists a decision duly passed by a judge in
cases explicitly defined by law, and unless there exists an order of an
agency authorised by law in cases where delay is deemed prejudicial.
Public establishments or institutions where exceptions to the above
may be applied will be defined by law.
V. Freedom of
Residence and Movement
ARTICLE 23. Everyone has the right to
freedom of residence and movement.
Freedom of residence may be
restricted by law for the purpose of preventing offences, promoting
social and economic development, ensuring sound and orderly urban growth,
and protecting public property; freedom of movement may be restricted by
law for the purpose of investigation and prosecution of an offence, and
prevention of offences. A citizen's freedom to leave the country may be
restricted on account of the national economic situation, civic
obligations, or criminal investigation or prosecution.
may not be deported, or deprived of their right of entry into their
IV. Freedom of Religion and Conscience
ARTICLE 24. Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience, religious
belief and conviction.
Acts of worship, religious services,
and ceremonies shall be conducted freely, provided that they do not
violate the provisions of Article 14.
No one shall be compelled
to worship, or to participate in religious ceremonies and rites, to
reveal religious beliefs and convictions, or be blamed or accused because of
his religious beliefs and convictions.
instruction in religion and ethics shall be conducted under State
supervision and control. Instruction in religious culture and moral
education shall be compulsory in the curricula of primary and secondary
schools. Other religious education and instruction shall be subject to
the individual's own desire, and in the case of minors, to the request of
their legal representatives.
No one shall be allowed to exploit
or abuse religion or religious feelings, or things held sacred by
religion, in any manner whatsoever, for the purpose of personal or
political influence, or for even partially basing the fundamental, social,
economic, political, and legal order of the State on religious tenets.
VII. Freedom of Thought and Opinion
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and opinion.
shall be compelled to reveal his thoughts and opinions for any reason or
purpose, nor shall anyone be blamed or accused on account of his thought and
VIII. Freedom of Expression and Dissemination of
ARTICLE 26. Everyone has the right to express and
disseminate his thoughts and opinion by speech, in writing or in pictures
or through other media, individually or collectively. This right includes
the freedom to receive and impart information and ideas without
interference from official authorities. This provision shall not preclude
subjecting transmission by radio, television, cinema, and similar means
to a system of licencing.
The exercise of these freedoms may be
restricted for the purposes of preventing crime, punishing offenders,
withholding information duly classified as a State secret, protecting the
reputation and rights and the private and family life of others, or
protecting professional secrets as prescribed by law, or ensuring the
proper functioning of the judiciary.
No language prohibited by
law shall be used in the expression and dissemination of thought. Any
written or printed documents, phonograph records, magnetic or video tapes,
and other means of expression used in contravention of this provision shall
be seized by a duly issued decision of a judge or, in cases where delay
is deemed prejudicial, by the competent authority designated by law. The
authority issuing the seizure order shall notify the competent judge of
its decision within twenty-four hours. The judge shall decide on the
matter within three days.
Provisions regulating the use of means
of disseminating information and ideas shall hot be interpreted as a
restriction of freedom of expression and dissemination unless they
prevent the dissemination of information and thought.
Freedom of Science and Arts
ARTICLE 27. Everyone has the
right to study and teach freely, explain, and disseminate science and
arts and to carry out research in these fields.
The right to
disseminate shall not be exercised for the purpose of changing the
provisions of Articles 1, 2 and 3 of this Constitution.
provisions of this article shall not preclude regulation by law of the entry
and distribution of foreign publications in the country.
Provisions Relating to the Press and Publication
Freedom of the Press
ARTICLE 28. The press is free, and shall
not be censored. The establishment of a printing house shall not be
subject to prior permission or the deposit of a financial guarantee.
Publication shall not be made in any language prohibited by law.
The State shall take the necessary measures to ensure the freedom of
the press and freedom of information.
In the limitation of
freedom of the press, Articles 26 and 27 of the Constitution are
Anyone who writes or prints any news or articles
which threaten the internal or external security of the State or the
indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and nation, which
tend to incite offence, riot or insurrection, or which refer to
classified State secrets and anyone who prints or transmits such news or
articles to others for the above purposes, shall be held responsible
under the law relevant to these offences. Distribution may be suspended
as a preventive measure by the decision of a judge, or in the event delay
is deemed prejudicial, by the competent authority designated by law. The
authority suspending distribution shall notify a competent judge of its
decision within twenty-four hours at the latest. The order suspending
distribution shall become null and void unless upheld by a competent
judge within forty-eight hours at the latest.
No ban shall be
placed on the reporting of events, except by the decision of judge issued
to ensure proper functioning of the judiciary, within the limits specified
Periodical and non-periodical publications may be seized
by a decision of a judge in cases of ongoing investigation or prosecution
of offences prescribed by law, and, in situations where delay could
endanger the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and
nation, national security, public order or public morals and for the
prevention of offence by order of the competent authority designated by law.
The authority issuing the seizure order shall notify a competent judge of
its decision within twenty-four hours at the latest. The seizure order
shall become null and void unless upheld by the competent court within
forty-eight hours at the latest.
The general common provisions
shall apply when seizure and confiscation of periodicals and
non-periodicals for reasons of criminal investigation and prosecution take
Periodicals published in Turkey may be temporarily
suspended by court sentence if found guilty of publishing material which
contravenes the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and
nation, the fundamental principles of the Republic, national security and
public morals. Any publication which clearly bears the characteristics of
being a continuation of a suspended periodical is prohibited; and shall be
seized following a decision by a competent judge.
to Publish Periodicals and Non-periodicals
Publication of periodicals or non-periodicals shall not be subject to prior
authorisation or the deposit of a financial guarantee.
publish a periodical it shall suffice to submit the information and
documents prescribed by law to the competent authority designated by law.
If the information and documents submitted are found to be in
contravention of law, the competent authority shall apply to the
appropriate court for suspension of publication.
of periodicals, the conditions of publication, the financial resources
and rules relevant to the profession of journalism shall be regulated by
law. The law shall not impose any political, economic, financial, and
technical conditions, obstructing or making difficult the free
dissemination of news, thought, or beliefs.
have equal access to the means and facilities of the State, other public
corporate bodies, and their agencies.
C. Protection of
ARTICLE 30. A printing press or its
annexes duly established as a publishing house under law shall not be
seized, confiscated, or barred from operation on the grounds of being an
instrument of crime, except in cases where it is convicted of offences
against the indivisible integrity of the State with its territory and
nation, against the fundamental principles of the Republic or against
D. Right to Use Mass Media Other Than the
Press Owned by Public Corporations
ARTICLE 31. Individuals
and political parties have the right to use mass media and means of
communication other than the press owned by public corporations. The
conditions and procedures for such use shall be regulated by law.
The law shall not impose restrictions preventing the public from
receiving information or forming ideas and opinions through these media,
or preventing public opinion from being freely formed, on grounds other
than the general restrictions set forth in Article 13.
Right of Rectification and Reply
ARTICLE 32. The right of
rectification and reply shall be accorded only in cases where personal
reputation and honour is attacked or in cases of unfounded allegation and
shall be regulated by law.
If a rectification or reply is not
published, the judge will decide, within seven days of appeal by the
individual involved, whether or not this publication is required.
XI. Rights and Freedoms of Assembly
A. Freedom of
ARTICLE 33. Everyone has the right to form
associations without prior permission.
Submitting the information
and documents stipulated by law to the competent authority designated by
law shall suffice to enable an association to be formed. If the information
and documents submitted are found to contravene the law, the competent
authority shall apply to the appropriate court for the suspension of
activities or dissolution of the association involved.
shall be compelled to become or remain a member of an association. The
formalities, conditions, and procedures governing the exercise of freedom of
association shall be prescribed by law.
Associations may be
dissolved or suspended from activity by decision of judge in cases
prescribed by law. In cases where delay endangers national security or
public order and in cases where it is necessary to prevent the
perpetration or the continuation of a crime or to effect apprehension, an
authority designated by law may be vested with power to suspend the
association from activity. The decision of this authority shall be submitted
for approval to the judge in charge within twenty-four hours. Unless the
judge declares a decision within forty-eight hours, this administrative
decision shall be annulled automatically.
Provisions of the
first paragraph shall not prevent the imposition of restrictions on the
rights of armed forces and security forces officials and civil servants to
the extent that the duties of civil servants so require.
provisions of this article are also applicable to foundations.
B. Right to Hold Meetings and Demonstration Marches
ARTICLE 34. Everyone has the right to hold unarmed and peaceful meetings
and demonstration marches without prior permission.
competent administrative authority may determine a site and route for the
demonstration march in order to prevent disruption of order in urban life.
The formalities, conditions, and procedures governing the
exercise of the right to hold meetings and demonstration marches shall be
prescribed by law.
The competent authority designated by law may
prohibit a particular meeting and demonstration march, or postpone it for
not more than two months in situations where there is a strong
possibility that disturbances may arise which would seriously upset public
order, where the requirement of national security may be violated, or where
acts aimed at destroying the fundamental characteristics of the Republic
may be committed. In cases where the law forbids all meetings or
demonstration marches in districts of a province for the same reasons,
the postponement may not exceed three months.
foundations, labour unions, and public professional organisations shall
not hold meetings or demonstration marches exceeding their own scope and
XII. Right of Property
Everyone has the right to own and inherit property.
may be limited by law only in view of public interest.
exercise of the right to own property shall not be in contravention of the
XIII. Provisions Relating to the
Protection of Rights
A. Freedom to Claim Rights
ARTICLE 36. Everyone has the right of litigation either as plaintiff or
defendant before the courts through lawful means and procedure.
No court shall refuse to hear a case within its jurisdiction.
B. Guarantee of Lawful Judgement
ARTICLE 37. No one may
be tried by any judicial authority other than the legally designated
Extraordinary tribunals with jurisdiction that would in
effect remove a person from the jurisdiction of his legally designated
court shall not be established.
C. Principles Relating to
Offences and Penalties
ARTICLE 38. No one shall be punished
for any act which does not constitute a criminal offence under the law in
force at the time committed; no one shall be given a heavier penalty for
an offence other than the penalty applicable at the time when the offence
The provisions of the above paragraph shall
also apply to the statute of limitations on offences and penalties and
one the results of conviction.
Penalties, and security measures
in lieu of penalties, shall be prescribed only by law.
shall be held guilty until proven guilty in a court of law.
one shall be compelled to make a statement that would incriminate himself or
his legal next of kin, or to present such incriminating evidence.
Criminal responsibility shall be personal.
confiscation shall not be imposed as a penalty.
Administration shall not impose any sanction resulting in restriction of
personal liberty. Exceptions to this provision may be introduced by law
regarding the internal order of the Armed Forces.
shall be extradited to a foreign country on account of an offence.
XIV. Right to Prove an Allegation
ARTICLE 39. In libel
and defamation suits involving allegations against persons in the public
service in connection with their functions or services, the defendant has
the right to prove the allegations. A plea for presenting proof shall not
be granted in any other case unless proof would serve the public interest
or unless the plaintiff consents.
XV. Protection of
Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
ARTICLE 40. Everyone whose
constitutional rights and freedoms have been violated has the right to
request prompt access to the competent authorities.
incurred by any person through unlawful treatment by holders of public
office shall be compensated by the State. The State reserves the right of
recourse to the official responsible.
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RIGHTS
Protection of the Family
ARTICLE 41. The family is the
foundation of Turkish society.
The State shall take the necessary
measures and establish the necessary organisation to ensure the peace and
welfare of the family, especially the protection of the mother and
children and for family planning education and application.
II. Right and Duty of Training and Education
42. No one shall be deprived of the right of learning and education.
The scope of the right to education shall be defined and regulated by
Training and education shall be conducted along the lines of
the principles and reforms of Atatrk, on the basis of contemporary
science and educational methods, under the supervision and control of the
State. Institutions of training and education contravening these
provisions shall not be established.
The freedom of training and
education does not relieve the individual from loyalty to the
Primary education is compulsory for all citizens of
both sexes and is free of charge in State schools.
principles governing the functioning of private primary and secondary
schools shall be regulated by law in keeping with the standards set for
The State shall provide scholarships and other
means of assistance to enable students of merit lacking financial means
to continue their education. The State shall take necessary measures to
rehabilitate those in need of special training so as to render such
people useful to society.
Training, education, research, and
study are the only activities that shall be pursued at institutions of
training and education. These activities shall not be obstructed in any
No language other than Turkish shall be taught as a mother
tongue to Turkish citizens at any institutions of training or education.
Foreign languages to be taught in institutions of training and education
and the rules to be followed by schools conducting training and education
in a foreign language shall be determined by law. The provisions of
international treaties are reserved.
III. Public Interest
A. Utilisation of the Coasts
ARTICLE 43. The
coasts are under the sovereignty and at the disposal of the State.
In the utilisation of sea coasts, lake shores or river banks, and of the
coastal strip along the sea and lakes, public interest shall be taken
into consideration with priority.
The width of coasts, and
coastal strips to be determined according to the purpose of utilization.
and the conditions and possibilities of such utilization by individuals
shall be determined by law.
B. Land Ownership
ARTICLE 44. The State shall take the necessary measures to maintain and
develop efficient land cultivation, to prevent its loss through erosion,
and to provide land to farmers with insufficient land of their own, or no
land. For this purpose, the law may define the size of appropriate land
units, according to different agricultural regions and types of farming.
Providing of land to farmers with no or insufficient land shall not lead
to a fall in production, or to the depletion of forests and other land and
Lands distributed for this purpose
shall neither be divided nor be transferred to others, except through
inheritance, and shall be cultivated only by the farmers to whom the
lands have been distributed, and their heirs. The principles relating to the
recovery by the State of the land thus distributed in the event of loss
of these conditions shall be prescribed by law.
Protection of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, and Persons Engaged in These
ARTICLE 45. The State assists farmers and
livestock breeders in acquiring machinery, equipment and other inputs in
order to prevent improper use and destruction of agricultural land,
meadows and pastures and to increase crop and livestock production in
accordance with the principles of agricultural planning.
State shall take necessary measures to promote the values of crop and
livestock products, and to enable growers and producers to be paid the
real value of their products.
ARTICLE 46. The State and public corporations shall be entitled, where
the public interest requires it, to expropriate privately owned real
estate wholly or in part or impose administrative servitude on it in
accordance with the principles and procedures prescribed by law, provided
that compensation is paid in advance.
The method and procedure
for calculating compensation for expropriation shall be prescribed by
law. In determining the compensation, the law shall take into account tax
declarations, current value established by official assessment at the time
of expropriation, unit prices and construction costs for real estate, and
other objective criteria.
The procedure for taxing and
difference between the sum due in compensation and the value declared in
the tax declaration shall be prescribed by law.
shall be paid in cash and in advance. However, the procedure to be applied
in paying compensation for land expropriated in order to carry out land
reform, major energy and irrigation projects, and housing and
resettlement schemes and afforestation, and to protect the coasts and to
build tourist facilities shall be regulated by law. In the previous cases
where the law may allow payment in installments, the payment period shall
not exceed five years; whence payment shall be made in equal installments
and an interest rate equivalent to the highest interest paid on the
public debt shall be paid for the remainder of installments.
Compensation for land expropriated from the small farmer who cultivates
his own land shall in all cases be paid in advance.
ARTICLE 47. Private enterprises performing
public service may be nationalised when this is required by the
exigencies of public interest.
Nationalisation shall be carried
out on the basis of real value. The methods and procedures for
calculating real value shall be prescribed by law.
to Work and Conclude Contracts
ARTICLE 48. Everyone has the
freedom to work and conclude contracts in the field of his choice, the
establishment of private enterprises is free.
The State shall
take measures to ensure that private enterprises operate in accordance
with national economic requirements and social objectives and in conditions of security
V. Provisions Relating to Labour
A. Right and Duty to Work
ARTICLE 49. Everyone has the right and duty to work.
The State shall take the necessary measures to raise the standard of living of workers,
to protect them in order to improve the general conditions of labour, to promote labour,
and to create suitable economic conditions for prevention of unemployment.
The State shall take facilitating and protective measures in order to secure labour
peace in worker-employer relations.
B. Working Conditions and Right to Rest and Leisure
ARTICLE 50. No one shall be required to perform work unsuited to his age, sex, and
Minors, women and persons with physical or mental disabilities, shall enjoy special
protection with regard to working conditions.
All workers have the right to rest and leisure.
Rights and conditions relating to paid weekends and holidays, together with paid annual
leave, shall be regulated by law.
C. Right to Organise Labour Unions
ARTICLE 51. Workers and employers have the right to form labour unions and employers'
associations and higher organisations, without prior permission, in order to safeguard and
develop their economic and social rights and the interests of their members in their
In order to form unions and their higher bodies, it shall suffice to submit the
information and documents prescribed by law to the competent authority designated by law.
If this information and documentation is not in conformity with law, the competent
authority shall apply to the appropriate court for the suspension of activities or the
dissolution of the union or the higher body.
Everyone shall be free to become a member of or withdraw from membership in a union.
No one shall be compelled to become a member, remain a member, or withdraw from
membership of a union.
Workers and employers cannot hold concurrent memberships in more than one labour union
or employers' association.
Employment in a given work-place shall not be made conditional on being, or not being a
member of a labour union.
To become an executive in a labour union or higher organisation, it is a prerequisite
that workers should have held the status of a labourer for at least ten years.
The status, the administration, and the functioning of the labour unions and their
higher bodies should not be inconsistent with the characteristics of the Republic as
defined in the Constitution, or with democratic principles.
D. Activities of Labour Unions
ARTICLE 52. (Article 52 of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey has been
VI. Collective Bargaining, Right to Strike, and Lockout
A. Right of Collective Bargaining
ARTICLE 53. Workers and employers have the right to conclude collective bargaining
agreements in order to regulate reciprocally their economic and social position and
conditions of work.
The procedure to be followed in concluding collective bargaining agreements shall be
regulated by law.
The unions and their higher organizations, which are to be established by the public
employees mentioned in the first paragraph of article 128 and which do not fall under the
scope of the first and second paragraphs of the same article and also Article 54, may
appeal to judicial authorities on behalf of their members and may hold collective
bargaining meetings with the administration in accordance with their aims. If an agreement
is reached as a result of collective bargaining, a text of the agreement will be signed by
the parties. Such text shall be presented to the Council of Ministers so that
administrative or judicial arrangements can be made. If such a text cannot be concluded by
collective bargaining, the agreed and disagreed points will also be submitted for
consideration of the Council of Ministers by the relevant parties. The regulations for the
execution of this article is stipulated by law.
More than one collective bargaining agreement at the same place of work for the same
period shall not be concluded or put into effect.
B. Right to Strike, and Lockout
ARTICLE 54. Workers have the right to strike if a dispute arises during the collective
bargaining process. The procedures and conditions governing the exercise of this right and
the employer's recourse to a lockout, the scope of both actions, and the exceptions to
which they are subject shall be regulated by law.
The right to strike, and lockout shall not be exercised in a manner contrary to the
principle of goodwill to the detriment of society, and in a manner damaging national
During a strike, the labour union is liable for any material damage caused in a
work-place where the strike is being held, as a result of deliberate negligent behaviour
by the workers and the labour union.
The circumstances and places in which strikes and lockouts may be prohibited or
postponed shall be regulated by law.
In cases where a strike or a lockout is prohibited or postponed, the dispute shall be
settled by the Supreme Arbitration Board at the end of the period of postponement. The
disputing parties may apply to the Supreme Arbitration Board by mutual agreement at any
stage of the dispute.
The decisions of the Supreme Arbitration Board shall be final and have the force of a
collective bargaining agreement.
The organisation and functions of the Supreme Arbitration Board shall be regulated by
Politically motivated strikes and lockouts, solidarity strikes and lockouts, occupation
of work premises, labour go- slows, production decreasing, and other forms of obstruction
Those who refuse to go on strike, shall in no way be barred from working at their
work-place by strikers.
VII. Guarantee of Fair Wage
ARTICLE 55. Wages shall be paid in return for work.
The State shall take the necessary measures to ensure that workers earn a fair wage
suitable for the work they perform and that they enjoy other social benefits.
In determining the minimum wage, the economic and social conditions of the country
shall be taken into account.
VIII. Health, the Environment and Housing
A. Health Services and Conservation of the Environment
ARTICLE 56. Everyone has the right to live in a healthy, balanced environment.
It is the duty of the State and citizens to improve the natural environment, and to
prevent environmental pollution.
To ensure that everyone leads their lives in conditions of physical and mental health
and to secure cooperation in terms of human and material resources through economy and
increased productivity, the State shall regulate central planning and functioning of the
The State shall fulfill this task by utilizing and supervising the health and social
assistance institutions, in both the public and private sectors.
In order to establish widespread health services general health insurance may be
introduced by law.
B. Right to Housing
ARTICLE 57. The State shall take measures to meet the needs for housing within the
framework of a plan which takes into account the characteristics of cities and
environmental conditions and supports community housing projects.
IX. Youth and Sports
A. Protection of Youth
ARTICLE 58. The State shall take measures to ensure the training and development of
youth into whose keeping our State, independence, and our Republic are entrusted, in the
light of contemporary science, in line with the principles and reforms of Atatrk, and in
opposition to ideas aiming at the destruction of the indivisible integrity of the State
with its territory and nation.
The State shall take necessary measures to protect youth from addiction to alcohol,
drug addiction, crime, gambling, and similar vices, and ignorance.
B. Development of Sports
ARTICLE 59. The State shall take measures to develop the physical and mental health of
Turkish citizens of all ages, and encourage the spread of sports among the masses.
The State shall protect successful athletes.
X. Social Security Rights
A. Right to Social Security
ARTICLE 60. Everyone has the right to social security.
The State shall take the necessary measures and establish the organisation for the
provision of social security.
B. Persons Requiring Special Protection in the Field of Social Security
ARTICLE 61. The State shall protect the widows and orphans of those killed in war and
in the line of duty, together with the disabled and war veterans, and ensure that they
enjoy a decent standard of living.
The State shall take measures to protect the disabled and secure their integration into
The aged shall be protected by the State. State assistance to the aged, and other
rights and benefits shall be regulated by law.
The State shall take all kinds of measures for social resettlement of children in need
To achieve these aims the State shall establish the necessary organisations or
facilities, or arrange for their establishment by other bodies.
C. Turkish Nationals Working Abroad
ARTICLE 62. The State shall take the necessary measures to ensure the family unity, the
education of the children, the cultural needs, and the social security of Turkish
nationals working abroad, and shall take the necessary measures to safeguard their ties
with the home country and to help them on their return home.
XI. Conservation of Historical, Cultural and Natural Wealth
ARTICLE 63. The State shall ensure the conservation of the historical, cultural and
natural assets and wealth, and shall take supportive and promotive measures towards this
Any limitations to be imposed on such assets and wealth which are privately owned, and
the compensation and exemptions to be accorded to the owners of such, as a result of these
limitations, shall be regulated by law.
XII. Protection of Arts and Artists
ARTICLE 64. The State shall protect artistic activities and artists. The State shall
take the necessary measures to protect, promote and support works of art and artists, and
encourage the spread of appreciation for art.
XIII. The Extent of Social and Economic Rights
ARTICLE 65. The State shall fulfill its duties as laid down in the Constitution in the
social and economic fields within the limits of its financial resources, taking into
consideration the maintenance of economic stability.
POLITICAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES
I. Turkish Citizenship
ARTICLE 66. Everyone bound to the Turkish State through the bond of citizenship is a
The child of a Turkish father or a Turkish mother is a Turk. The citizenship of a child
of a foreign father and a Turkish mother shall be defined by law.
Citizenship can be acquired under the conditions stipulated by law, and shall be
forfeited only in cases determined by law.
No Turk shall be deprived of citizenship, unless he commits an act incompatible with
loyalty to the motherland.
Recourse to the courts, against the decisions and proceedings related to the
deprivation of citizenship, shall not be denied.
II. Right to Vote, to Be Elected and to Engage in Political Activity
ARTICLE 67. In conformity with the conditions set forth in the law, citizens have the
right to vote, to be elected, and to engage in political activities independently or in a
political party, and to take part in a referendum.
Elections and referenda shall be held under the direction and supervision of the
judiciary, in accordance with the principles of free, equal, secret, and direct, universal
suffrage, and public counting of the votes. However, the conditions under which the
Turkish citizens who are abroad shall be able to exercise their right to vote, are
regulated by law.
All Turkish citizens over 18 years of age shall have the right to vote in elections and
to take part in referenda.
The exercise of these rights shall be regulated by law.
Private and corporals serving in the armed services, students in military schools and
convicts in penal execution institutions cannot vote. The Supreme Election Council shall
determine the measures to be taken to ensure the safety of the counting of votes when
detainees in penal execution institutions or prisons exercise their right to vote; such
voting is done under the on-site direction and supervision of authorized judge.
The electoral laws shall be drawn up in such a way as to reconcile the principles of
fair representation and consistency in administration.
III. Provisions Relating to Political Parties
A. Forming Parties, Membership and Withdrawal From Membership in a Party
ARTICLE 68. Citizens have the right to form political parties and in accordance with
the established procedure to join and withdraw from them. One must be over 18 years of age
to become a member of a party.
Political parties are indispensable elements of the democratic political life.
Political parties shall be formed without prior permission and shall pursue their
activities in accordance with the provisions set forth in the Constitution and law.
The statutes and programmes, as well as the activities of political parties shall not
be in conflict with the independence of the State, its indivisible integrity with its
territory and nation, human rights, the principles of equality and rule of law,
sovereignty of the nation, the principles of the democratic and secular republic; they
shall not aim to protect or establish class or group dictatorship or dictatorship of any
kind, nor shall they incite citizens to crime.
Judges and prosecutors, members of higher judicial organs including those of the Court
of Accounts, civil servants in public institutions and organizations, other public
servants who are not considered to be labourers by virtue of the services they perform,
members of the armed forces and students who are not yet in higher education institutions,
shall not become members of political parties.
The membership of the teaching staff at higher education institutions in political
parties is regulated by law. This law can not allow those members to assume
responsibilities outside the central organs of the political parties. It also sets forth
the regulations by which the teaching staff at higher education institutions shall observe
as members of political parties.
The principles concerning the membership of students at higher education institutions
to political parties are regulated by law.
The State shall provide the political parties with adequate financial means in an
equitable manner. The financial assistance to be extended to the political parties, as
well as procedures related to collection of membership dues and donations are regulated by
B. Principles to be Observed by Political Parties
ARTICLE 69. The activities, internal regulations and operation of political parties
shall be in line with democratic principles. The application of these principles is
regulated by law.
Political parties shall not engage in commercial activities.
The income and expenditure of political parties shall be consistent with their
objectives. The application of this rule is regulated by law. The auditing of the income
and expenditure and acquisitions of political parties as well as the establishment of the
conformity to law of their revenue and expenses, methods of auditing and sanctions to be
applied in the event of unconformity shall also be regulated by law.
The Constitutional Court shall be assisted in performing its task of auditing by the
Court of Accounts. The judgments to be rendered by the Constitutional Court as a result of
the auditing shall be final.
The dissolution of political parties shall be decided finally by the Constitutional
Court after the filling of a suit by the office of the Chief Public Prosecutor of the
The permanent dissolution of a political party shall be decided when it is established
that the statute and programme of the political party violate the provisions of the fourth
paragraph of Article 68.
The decision to dissolve a political party permanently owing to activities violating
the provisions of the fourth paragraph of Article 68 may be rendered only when the
Constitutional Court determines that the party in question has become a centre for the
execution of such activities.
A party which has been dissolved permanently cannot be founded under another name.
The members, including the founders, of a political party whose acts or statements have
caused the party to be dissolved permanently cannot be founders, members, directors or
supervisors in any other party for a period of five years from the date of publication in
the official gazette of the Constitutional Court's final decision and its justification
for permanently dissolving the party.
Political parties which accept financial assistance from foreign states, international
institutions and persons and corporate bodies shall be dissolved permanently.
The foundation and activities of political parties, their supervision and dissolution,
as well as the election expenditures and procedures of the political parties and
candidates, are regulated by law in accordance with the above- mentioned principles.
IV. Right to Enter the Public Service
A. Entry into the Public Service
ARTICLE 70. Every Turk has the right to enter the public service.
No criteria other than the qualifications for the office concerned shall be taken into
consideration for recruitment into the public service.
B. Declaration of Assets
ARTICLE 71. Declaration of assets by persons entering public service, and the frequency
of such declaration, shall be determined by law. Those serving in the legislative and
executive organs shall not be exempted from this requirement.
V. National Service
ARTICLE 72. National service is the right and duty of every Turk. The manner in which
this service shall be performed, or considered as performed, either in the Armed Forces or
in the public service shall be regulated by law.
VI. Obligation to Pay Taxes
ARTICLE 73. Everyone is under the obligation to pay taxes according to his financial
resources, in order to meet public expenditures.
An equitable and balanced distribution of the tax burden is the social objective of
Taxes, fees, duties, and other such financial impositions shall be imposed, amended, or
revoked by law.
The Council of Ministers may be empowered to amend the percentages of exemption,
exceptions and reductions in taxes, fees, duties and other such financial impositions,
within the minimum and maximum limits prescribed by law.
VII. Right of Petition
ARTICLE 74. Citizens have the right to apply in writing to the competent authorities
and to the Turkish Grand National Assembly with regard to requests and complaints
concerning themselves or the public.
The result of the application concerning himself shall be made known to the petitioner
The way of exercising this right shall be determined by law.