Judicial power in Turkey is exercised by independent courts and supreme judiciary organs. With the principle of the legal state as a basis, the independence of the courts and the judges, and the guarantee of the judges’ rights are established. Court hearings are open to everyone, except the closed sessions which are decided in special circumstances. In crime and punishment, the fact that the responsibility for the punishment is individual and the presumption that the individual is innocent until proven guilty are valid. Everyone has the freedom to seek his/her rights before a judge.
Functionally, a tripartite judicial system has been adopted by the Constitution, and according to this, the judiciary system has been separated in the form of administrative judiciary, legal judiciary and special judiciary. The military courts and the State Security Courts are special judiciary organs. In 1999 with the amendment of Article 143 of the Constitution, the structure of the State Security Courts was changed and they were transformed into new bodies composed entirely of civilian judges and public prosecutors. With another amendment to Article 125 of the Constitution in the same year, in cases of disputes concerning charters and contracts for public services, the path has been opened to take the cases to international arbitration.
The Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Appeals, the Council of State, the Supreme Military Court of Appeals, the Supreme Military Administrative Court and the Court of Jurisdictional Disputes are the high courts mentioned in the judicial section of the Constitution.
The President is the head of the state. He/she represents the Republic of Turkey and the unity of the Turkish Nation. A president is elected from among individuals who are at least forty years of age, deputies who have received higher education or Turkish citizens who are qualified to be elected as a deputy. He/she is selected by the TGNA by secret ballot and with a two-thirds majority of the total number of parliament members. The term of office is seven years. The President ensures the implementation of the Constitution and the regular and harmonious functioning of the organs of State. In the legislative field, the President’s duties are to convene the TGNA when necessary; to promulgate laws and when deemed necessary to return laws to Parliament to be reconsidered; to hold a referendum for constitutional amendments when he/she considers it necessary; to file a suit at the Constitutional Court claiming that there are violations of the Constitution related to laws and decrees having the force of law and the Internal Regulations of the Parliament, and to call new TGNA elections when the necessity arises. His/her functions in the executive field are quite comprehensive. He/she appoints the Prime Minister, and the ministers upon the proposals of the Prime Minister; sends representatives of the Turkish State to foreign countries, receives representatives of foreign states, and ratifies and promulgates international agreements. Furthermore, he/she functions as the head of the National Security Council and the Council of Ministers when necessary; signs decrees; commutes or pardons the sentences of certain convicts if the conditions are met, and appoints or selects the members of the State Supervisory Council, the Higher Education Council and university rectors. The President’s functions related to the judiciary are limited to selection of members of the Supreme Courts.