Great National Assembly of Turkey

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Great National Assembly of Turkey
Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi
emblem building
logo building
Basic data
Seat: Ankara
Legislative period : 5 years
MPs: 586
Current legislative period
Last choice: June 24, 2018
Chair: President of Parliament
Mustafa Şentop ( AKP )
Süreyya Sadi Bilgiç ( AKP ),
Haydar Akar ( CHP ),
Nimetullah Erdoğmuş ( HDP ),
Celal Adan ( MHP )
58 138 37 291 49 13 
Distribution of seats: Government  (341)

People's Alliance 341

  • AKP 291
  • MHP 49
  • non-attached 1
  • Opposition (248) Alliance of the Nation 175

  • CHP 138
  • İYİ 37
  • HDP 58
  • non-attached 13
  • Website

    The Grand National Assembly of Turkey ( Turkish Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi , TBMM ) is the parliament of Turkey with its seat in Ankara . The Grand National Assembly was founded in 1920 and since 1995 has consisted of 550 members. With the constitutional referendum in 2017 and its entry into force, the parliament was increased by 50 seats (with the 2018 elections ). The country has a unicameral system . At least 20 MPs are required to form a parliamentary group.


    Members of the first parliament

    The parliament was founded in 1920 (initially under the name Büyük Millet Meclisi  /بویوك ملت مجلسی / 'Great National Assembly') by the group around Mustafa Kemal ( Ataturk ), who gave his resistance to the Greek occupiers legitimacy and at the same time claimed to be the sole representative of the people. Until the founding of parliament, the Representative Council ( Heyet-i Temsiliye ) elected at the Sivas Congress in September 1919 was the highest body of the Turkish liberation movement that had formed in Ankara. The liberation movement found itself in conflict with the victorious powers of the First World War and the Ottoman interim government under the Grand Vizier Damad Ferid Pasha . Damad Ferid cooperated with the victorious powers, fought against the national movement through arrests and was particularly valued by the British. Damad Ferid's government had to resign on September 30, 1919. The resignation came in response to the unsuccessful attempt by Damad Ferid to dissolve the Sivas Congress and have Mustafa Kemal arrested. The new Istanbul government under Ali Rıza Pasha supported the liberation movement. The allied plan to partition the Ottoman Empire was made more difficult by this cooperation. In order to still be able to achieve their goals, the Allies considered the occupation of Istanbul and the arrest of the "dangerous nationalist leaders" necessary.

    Ataturk, Kazım Karabekir and other politicians pray at the opening of parliament

    On March 16, 1920 the Allies occupied Istanbul, on April 5, 1920 Damad Ferid was again Grand Vizier and informed the British High Commission after taking office as well as during his previous reign that he would proceed in accordance with all British expectations. After the occupation of Istanbul, the new parliament was founded in Ankara, which announced that it was the legitimate successor to the Istanbul Chamber, since Istanbul was under military occupation and the government and the sultan there were no longer sovereign. Ataturk issued a report on March 19, 1920, in which it was said that a parliament with far-reaching powers would assemble in Ankara. In addition, it was announced how the MPs must be elected and that the election must take place within 15 days at the latest.

    The parliament met for the first time on April 23, 1920. The eldest MP Serif Bey from Sinop (born 1845) took over the role of senior president and opened the session as follows:

    “In my capacity as the oldest member of this High Council and with God's help, I announce to the whole world that our people are taking responsibility for their fate and have begun to govern themselves in complete domestic and foreign political independence, and I hereby declare the Grand National Assembly for opened. "

    The second meeting took place on April 24, 1920; Mustafa Kemal was elected chairman of the parliament. The Treaty of Alexandropol of December 2, 1920 was the first agreement in which the counter-government in Ankara was internationally recognized as a negotiating partner. In 1924 the move to the second parliament building took place, in 1939 the parliament moved to the current building. Until the abolition of the one-party system, only members of the CHP, founded by Mustafa Kemal, belonged to parliament. From 1946 onwards, several parties were represented in parliament.

    After the military coup of May 27, 1960 , the constitution of 1961 introduced the bicameral system. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey now consisted of two chambers - the National Assembly (Millet Meclisi) and the Senate of the Republic (Cumhuriyet Senatosu) - which met as a plenary assembly of the entire Parliament in the cases provided for by the constitution (Art. 63 of the Constitution) . According to Article 67 of the Constitution, the National Assembly consisted of 450 members, the Senate of the Republic comprised 150 members who were elected by general elections and 15 members appointed by the President of the Republic (Article 70, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution). In addition, the “natural members” (tabiî üyeler) named in Article 70, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution belonged to the Senate of the Republic for life. While the legislative period for the National Assembly was set at four years in Article 69, Paragraph 1 of the Constitution, the Senate's election period was six years with a third renewal of the elected members and those appointed by the President every two years (Article 73, Paragraph 1, sentence 1, para. 2 of the Constitution). After the military coup in 1980 and with the 1982 constitution , there was a return to the unicameral system.

    A constitutional referendum was held on April 16, 2017, and the proposed amendments were adopted and entered into force with the 2018 parliamentary and presidential elections . Among other things, this resulted in the fact that the office of prime minister was abolished in favor of a president with increased power and the number of members of parliament was increased from 550 to 600.

    Legislative periods

    The first parliament building (1920–1924) Today: Museum of the War of Independence
    The second parliament building (1924–1939) Today: Museum der Republik
    • TBMM 1st period: April 23, 1920 to October 29, 1923
    • TBMM 2nd period: October 29, 1923 to August 2, 1927
    • TBMM 3rd period: August 2, 1927 to March 26, 1931
    • TBMM 4th period: May 4, 1931 to December 23, 1934
    • TBMM 5th period : March 1, 1935 to December 27, 1938
    • TBMM 6th period : April 3, 1939 to December 15, 1943
    • TBMM 7th period : March 8, 1944 to June 14, 1946
    • TBMM 8th period : August 5, 1946 to March 24, 1950
    • TBMM 9th period : May 22, 1950 to March 12, 1954
    • TBMM 10th period : May 14, 1954 to September 12, 1957
    • TBMM 11th period : February 1, 1958 to May 27, 1960
    • TBMM May 27, new establishment: January 6, 1961 to October 25, 1961
    • TBMM 12th period: (*) October 25, 1961 to October 10, 1965
    • TBMM 13th period: (*) October 22, 1965 to October 12, 1969
    • TBMM 14th period: (*) October 12, 1969 to October 14, 1973
    • TBMM 15th period: (*) October 14, 1973 to June 5, 1977
    • TBMM 16th period: (*) June 5, 1977 to September 12, 1980
    • TBMM September 12th Establishment: October 25th 1981 to October 14th 1983
    • TBMM 17th period : December 7, 1983 to November 29, 1987
    • TBMM 18th period : December 14, 1987 to October 20, 1991
    • TBMM 19th period : November 2, 1991 to December 24, 1995
    • TBMM 20th period : January 8, 1996 to April 18, 1999
    • TBMM 21st period : May 2nd, 1999 to October 3rd, 2002
    • TBMM 22nd period : October 14, 2002 to July 22, 2007
    • TBMM 23rd period : August 4, 2007 to June 11, 2011
    • TBMM 24th period : June 12, 2011 to June 7, 2015
    • TBMM 25th period : June 7th, 2015 to November 1st, 2015
    • TBMM 26th period : November 1, 2015 to June 24, 2018
    • TBMM 27th period : since June 24th, 2018

    (*) After the military coup in 1960 , the count was reset to 1 in the next election in 1961. However, this regulation was reversed in 1983.

    Parliament elections

    Election to the 27th Grand National Assembly

    The Grand National Assembly is elected uniquely in general, equal, secret, direct and free elections according to proportional representation for a 5-year legislative period. There is compulsory voting . The voting age is 18 years. Soldiers have no right to vote.

    Eligible are those who have at least completed primary school and are 25 years of age ( 30 years until 2006 ) ( Art. 76 ). Male MPs must have done military service. The MPs run in constituencies that correspond to the provinces of Turkey . There is a nationwide threshold of 10%. The votes for those candidates whose party does not overcome this hurdle expire. After the referendum in 2017, the number of MPs is 600. There is no replacement procedure for outgoing MPs. If more than five percent - currently 30 - of the MPs have resigned, their mandates will be reassigned through by-elections. These by-elections take place at least 30 months after and at the latest one year before general elections.

    According to the electoral law, parliamentary elections take place every five years on the second Sunday in October - with the exception of early elections. The last seven elections ( 1991 , 1995 , 1999 , 2002 , 2007 and 2011 and 2018 ) took place ahead of schedule.

    Foreign election

    Election to the 27th Grand National Assembly abroad

    Multiple attempts to enable elections for Turkish citizens living abroad in consulates or via postal voting failed until 2012 because of the electoral council . Voting at Turkish border crossings was possible with a still valid passport. In the parliamentary elections in Turkey in 2015 expatriate Turks were allowed to vote for the first time. In the 2018 parliamentary election, 3,032,206 were eligible to vote abroad. After evaluating 77.9% of the urns with the votes cast abroad, 1,044,199 voters had voted, which corresponds to a turnout of 44.19 % .


    When taking office, all members must take the following oath of office:

    “I swear before the great Turkish nation by my honor and dignity that I will protect the existence and independence of the state, the indivisible unity of fatherland and nation, the unrestricted and unconditional sovereignty of the nation; that I will remain bound by the primacy of law, the democratic and secular republic and the principles and reforms of Ataturk; that I will not deviate from the ideal that within the spirit of community peace and salvation, national solidarity and justice everyone can enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms, and from loyalty to the Constitution. "

    Functions and tasks

    According to the constitution, the National Assembly has the tasks and powers to enact, amend and repeal laws, to pass the budget, to decide on the printing of money and declarations of war, to approve the ratification of international treaties and with a majority of three fifths of the total of the MPs to decide on the announcement of an amnesty .

    In addition, the Turkish constitution has detailed rules on the incompatibility between certain offices in the government and the judiciary as well as the mandate of parliament. MEPs enjoyed immunity until May 20, 2016 (see section # Immunity ). Until then, a member of parliament could not be detained, interrogated, arrested or brought to justice without a decision by the National Assembly.

    The motto of the National Assembly translates as: "All power comes unconditionally from the people!" ( Turkish Egemenlik kayıtsız şartsız milletindir )

    Organs and committees

    The seat of the President of Parliament and the government bench (right) . In the background: "All power comes unconditionally from the people!"
    Barack Obama in Parliament, April 2009.

    Presidium of Parliament

    Mustafa Şentop (AKP) has been President of Parliament since February 2019.

    Technical committees

    • Constitutional Committee
    • Legal Committee
    • National Defense Committee
    • Home Committee
    • Foreign Affairs Committee
    • Committee on National Education, Culture, Youth and Sport
    • Committee on Construction, Transport and Tourism
    • Committee on Industry, Trade, Energy, Natural Resources, Science and Technology
    • Petitions Committee
    • Planning and Budget Committee
    • State Enterprises Committee
    • Human Rights Committee
    • Committee for the harmonization process with the EU
    • Forest and Forestry and Village Affairs Committee
    • Parliamentary Audit Committee
    • Committee on Health, Family, Labor and Social Affairs
    • Environment Committee

    According to the constitution, MPs represent the whole people and not a party or region. Party politics is carried into parliament through the parliamentary groups. A political group must have at least 20 members. The parliamentary group chairmanship is exercised by the party chairman if he is a member of the National Assembly.


    On May 20, 2016, 373 of the 550 parliamentarians voted for an AKP proposal and thus for an amendment to Article 83 of the Turkish constitution . After changing Article 83, MPs automatically lose their immunity as soon as the public prosecutor investigates them. 138 MPs were affected: 51 out of 133 from the CHP, 50 out of 59 from the HDP, 27 out of 317 from the AKP, 9 out of 40 from the MHP and the only non-attached MP. According to Human Rights Watch , charges against HDP MPs rose sharply in the months leading up to the immunity waiver vote. These figures suggest that the measure is primarily aimed against the HDP and its MPs; the latter will be investigated on the basis of anti-terror laws.

    Bundestag President Norbert Lammert (CDU) accused Erdoğan of "autocratic ambitions" the day before the parliamentary vote. The President of the European Parliament , Martin Schulz , described the lifting of the immunity of Kurdish MPs as a heavy blow to democracy. Since the last election (it took place on November 1, 2015 ) "the rule of law has been systematically undermined and one-man rule cemented". Turkey is thus "moving further and further away from our European standards."

    Several MPs lodged complaints against the parliamentary decision with the Turkish Constitutional Court. This was rejected by the judges on June 3, 2016.

    Current composition

    logo Party name acronym Chair Seats
    AKP Logooo.svg
    Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi ACP Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 291
    Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi CHP Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu 138
    Halkların Democracy Partisi HDP Pervin Buldan and
    Mithat Sancar
    Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi MHP Devlet Bahçeli 49
    İyi Parti İYİ Meral Akşener 37
    Türkiye İşçi Partisi TIP Erkan Bas 2
    Buyuk Birlik Partisi BBP Mustafa Destici 1
    Demokrasi ve Atılım Partisi DEVA Ali Babacan 1
    Democrat Parti DP Gültekin Uysal 1
    Democracy Bölgeler Partisi (DBP) .png
    Democracy Bölgeler Partisi DBP Sebahat Tuncel and
    Kamuran Yüksek
    Saadet Partisi SP Karamollaoğlu Temple 1
    independent MPs 6th

    Parliament building

    The National Assembly originally met in a building in the immediate vicinity of Ulus Square, which was originally built as an office building for the head of the railway administration in Ankara. (1st building, today Museum of the War of Independence). After the proclamation of the republic in 1924, the parliament moved to a newly constructed building opposite the Ankara Palas Hotel (2nd building, today the Museum of the Republic). Today's parliament building (3rd building) was built between 1939 and 1961 according to the designs of the Austrian architect Clemens Holzmeister . During the attempted coup on July 15, 2016 , the building was badly damaged by the coup plotters in the air.

    Web links

    Commons : Grand National Assembly of Turkey  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

    Individual evidence

    1. ^ Telegram from the British High Commissioner of March 5, 1920 to Lord Curzon from: Bilal Şimşir British Documents on Ataturk (1919–1938) , Vol. 1: April 1919-March 1920, Ankara 1973, Document No. 144, p. 428
    2. 24 Haziran 2018 Yurtdışı Oyları Genel Seçim Sonuçları. Retrieved June 16, 2019 .
    3. The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey ( Memento of the original from September 29, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
    4. TBMM'nin yeni başkanı Mustafa Şentop. February 24, 2019, accessed April 23, 2019 (Turkish).
    5. Turkish Parliament lifts the immunity of MPs . Zeit Online , May 2016
    6. Press compass on constitutional amendment
    7. Hasnain Kazim : Turkish Parliament: Kneeling before Erdogan . Mirror online
    8. ^ Rainer Hermann : Erdogan's authorization .
    9. Turkish parliament advocates lifting immunity. NZZ , May 20, 2016; accessed on the same day.
    10. ^ Turkey: Crackdown on Kurdish Opposition . In: Human Rights Watch . March 20, 2017 ( [accessed July 24, 2018]).
    11. Birgit Gärtner: Turkey: Democracy abolishes itself. Telepolis , May 20, 2016; accessed May 20, 2016
    12. Lammert calls Turkish President Erdoğan "autocratic" ., May 19, 2016
    13. Schulz criticizes “one-man rule” . Zeit Online , May 20, 2016
    14. Turkey: Constitutional judges overturn lawsuits against the waiver of immunity . Spiegel Online , June 3, 2016; accessed June 3, 2016

    Coordinates: 39 ° 54 ′ 42 "  N , 32 ° 51 ′ 4"  E