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Republic of Turkey

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Turkish Republic

Find out more about the Republic of Turkey, the Turkish constitution, political structure and its founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's reforms.

Turkish Republic

At the end of the First World War, the Ottoman Empire, which had entered on the side of the Germans, was effectively occupied by the Allies. The Ottoman government was defeated and the sultanate had lost credibility.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, a popular young General in the Ottoman army, who had remained undefeated throughout the war, emerged as the leader to take Turkey forward into a new era.

During the War of Independence which lasted from 1919-1923, Mustafa Kemal was elected President of the Turkish Grand National Assembly which was inaugurated on April 23rd 1920. He successfully negotiated the Lausanne Peace Treaty which set Turkey's national borders and recognized Turkey's right of sovereignty. The Turkish Republic was proclaimed on October 29th 1923.

Political Structure

The Republic of Turkey is based on a secular, democratic, pluralistic and parliamentary system.


Turkish Constitution

According to the Constitution, Turkey is a republic, and at the same time it is a democratic, secular and social state governed by the rule of law respecting human rights and committed to Ataturk's principles and nationalism.

Secularism is the important principle that the basic social, economic, political and legal order of the state may not rely, even partially, on religious rules.

The Constitution of the Republic of Turkey guarantees the rights of Turkish citizens to lead dignified lives and develop their material and spiritual being. Everyone is equal before the law and the constitution does not allow any discrimination based on language, religion, denomination, race, skin colour, gender, political opinion, or philosophical beliefs.

The following clauses of the constitution cannot be amended:

  • The Turkish State is a republic.
  • The Turkish State is an indivisible whole, with its country and nation.
  • The language of the Turkish State is Turkish.
  • The Turkish State has a flag with a white crescent and pentagram on a red background.
  • The national anthem of the Turkish State is the Istiklal Marsi.
  • The capital of the Turkish State is Ankara.


Republic of Turkey

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Istanbul


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