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Turkey: Electoral System
Country Study > Chapter 4 > Government and Politics > The Constitutional System > 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.

Last Updated: January 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Turkey was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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