All About Turkey

The President of the Republic

After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the struggle for liberation, the Republic of Turkey was proclaimed on 29th of October 1923 and Kemal Ataturk was elected by the Parliament as the first President. From the foundation of the Republic until today, twelve Presidents took office:

  1. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (29/10/1923 - 10/11/1938)
  2. Ismet Inonü (11/11/1938 - 22/05/1950)
  3. Celal Bayar (22/05/1950 - 27/05/1960)
  4. Cemal Gürsel (10/10/1961 - 28/03/1966)
  5. Cevdet Sunay (28/03/1966 - 28/03/1973)
  6. Fahri Korutürk (06/04/1973 - 06/04/1980)
  7. Kenan Evren (09/11/1982 - 09/11/1989)
  8. Turgut Özal (09/11/1989 - 17/04/1993)
  9. Süleyman Demirel (16/05/1993 - 16/05/2000)
  10. Ahmet Necdet Sezer (16/05/2000 - 28/07/2007)
  11. Abdullah Gül (28/07/2007 - 28/08/2014)
  12. Recep Tayyip Erdogan (28/08/2014 - present)

Between Presidents #3-4 Cemal Gürsel, and between #6-7 Kenan Evren, have acted as the Head of States during military interventions, who later were elected as President of the Republic with the re-establishment of the democracy after Coup d'Etat period.

The duties and responsibilities of the President are laid down by the Turkish Constitution of 1982, in Chapter II, Articles 101, 102, 103, 104, 105 and 106, and some sections were replaced by the public referandum on October 21st, 2007. According to these modifications of 2007, the President is elected for a term of 5 years (used to be 7 years before the referandum) by the people's general vote (used to be elected by the majority of the number of members in the Turkish Grand National Assembly before the referandum) and has to be at least 40 years of age and completed his higher education. He can serve in for two terms if he's re-elected (he couldn't serve in a second term before the referandum). The first public election was held on 10th of August 2014 and Recep Tayyip Erdogan won the presidential elections with 51% of total votes.

The President of the Republic is the head of the state, so he represents the Republic of Turkey and the unity of the Turkish Nation. The decisions and orders signed by the President on his own initiatives may not be appealed against to any judicial authority. He may only be impeached for high treason by the decision of at least three-fourths of the total number of members of the Parliament.

Presidential insigniaThe Regulation for Turkish Flag, Article 28 of Chapter VI of the respective Law of 1985, states that The Presidential insignia is based on set measurements. The insignia is hoisted and remains hoisted day and night at a flagpole at the President's residence and at the location of a Presidential visit during the period of such visit. The insignia is also placed behind the left of the desk in the President's office and on a steel-polished rod, bearing a top with a crescent and star, located at the left front side of the Presidential vehicle. The sun and sixteen yellow stars around it on the upper left corner of the insignia are yellow in color; stars represent the sixteen Turkish States in history, and the sun at the centre represents the Republic of Turkey.

The President has his compound in Ankara, capital of Turkey. The old compound in Çankaya district was built over 438 acres of land and symbolizes the Presidency. It houses Atatürk's Museum Villa, the Pink Villa, the office of the General Secretariat, the Glass Villa and office buildings of the State Supervision Council, reception halls and a press conference hall. There are also sports facilities, a fire brigade, a greenhouse, and barracks of the Presidential Guard (Muhafiz Alayi in Turkish) of the Army. The new presidential compound was built in 2014 in Ataturk Orman Ciftligi area. It covers an area of 300 thousand square meters with around one-thousand rooms, guests rooms, reception halls, botanic garden, meeting rooms and so on. The President has also a summer compound along the Bosphorus in Istanbul where he occasionally spends some time during summer period. It's called Huber Estate (or Tarabya Compound), built by and named after Huber brothers, representatives of the German gun-makers Mauser and Krupp, at the end of the 19th century.

All About Turkey © Burak Sansal 1996–2017, a certified professional tour guide in Turkey. Contact Burak at info@allaboutturkey.com for all kinds of regular and/or private travel services throughout the country.