Elections in Turkey are held for six functions of government: presidential elections (national), parliamentary elections (national), municipality mayors (local), district mayors (local), provincial or municipal council members (local) and muhtars (local). Apart from elections, referenda are also held occasionally.
The Parliament (Meclis) has 600 members, elected for a five-year term by a system based on closed list proportional representation according to the D'Hondt method. Political parties are subject to an electoral threshold of 7%. Smaller parties can avoid the electoral threshold by forming an alliance with bigger parties, in which it is sufficient that total votes of the alliance passes the 7%. Independent candidates are not subject to electoral threshold.
The presidential elections are held every five years. The president is elected for a term of office of five years and is eligible for one re-election. There's an exception when a president's second term ends prematurely through a decision of the Parliament. In this case, the president can be re-elected for a third term.
To put forward a referendum regarding constitutional amendments, a supermajority (three fifths of the votes) in the parliament is required first. These kinds of referendums are binding.
Turkey has a multi-party system, with two or three strong parties and often a fourth party that is electorally successful. Since 1950, parliamentary politics has mainly been dominated by conservative parties. Even the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) tends to identify itself with the "tradition" of Democrat Party (DP). While on the left side of the spectrum, parties like Republican People's Party (CHP), Social Democratic Populist Party (SHP) and Democratic Left Party (DSP) have enjoyed the largest electoral success on the left.
The constitutional referendum of 2017 enhanced the powers of the president, and since 2018, the focus has shifted from parliamentary to the presidential elections.
Main article: Turkish presidential elections
The following sections give list of key results.
At first, Turkey had a unicameral legislature, with the main chamber being the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. This lasted until 1961, when the new Constitution of 1961 replaced the previous unicameral (one house) system with a bicameral (two house) one. The Grand National Assembly was downgraded to the position of the lower house whilst the newly founded Senate of the Republic became the upper house. However, the constitution of 1982 abolished the Senate and Turkey once again adopted a unicameral system.
|21 July 1946||1946 Turkish general election|
|14 May 1950||1950 Turkish general election|
|2 May 1954||1954 Turkish general election|
|27 October 1957||1957 Turkish general election|
|15 October 1961||1961 Turkish general election|
|10 October 1965||1965 Turkish general election|
|12 October 1969||1969 Turkish general election|
|14 October 1973||1973 Turkish general election|
|5 June 1977||1977 Turkish general election|
|6 November 1983||1983 Turkish general election|
|29 October 1987||1987 Turkish general election|
|20 October 1991||1991 Turkish general election|
|25 December 1995||1995 Turkish general election|
|18 April 1999||1999 Turkish general election|
|3 November 2002||2002 Turkish general election|
|22 July 2007||2007 Turkish general election|
|12 June 2011||2011 Turkish general election|
|7 June 2015||2015 (June) Turkish general election|
|1 November 2015||2015 (November) Turkish general election|
|24 June 2018||2018 Turkish general election|
|15 October 1961||1961 Turkish senate elections|
|7 June 1964||1964 Turkish senate elections|
|5 June 1966||1966 Turkish senate elections|
|2 June 1968||1968 Turkish senate elections|
|14 October 1973||1973 Turkish senate elections|
|12 October 1975||1975 Turkish senate elections|
|7 June 1977||1977 Turkish senate elections|
|14 October 1979||1979 Turkish senate elections|
The Turkish administrative system defines three different district types for local elections: villages, cities and metropolitan cities. The difference between cities and metropolitan cities derives from the size of the population. Cities with more than 750,000 residents are labeled as metropolitan cities while the rest are simply called cities. There are 31 metropolitan cities and 50 cities across Turkey, and voters in both will have a total of four votes. Depending on the type of area the citizen lives, he or she has the opportunity to cast vote for the following offices:
People living in metropolitan cities:
People living in cities:
People living in villages:
The following is a summary of the past local elections.
If too many seats become vacant in the parliament or if elections in a district is not properly conducted, then a by-election is required to take place.
The voter turnout for the average of 18 parliamentary election is 81.4%; of the local elections is 78.7% and of the referendums is 83.1%. Turkey relatively has a high voter turnout rate comparing to modern democracies. The participation rate in Turkey is also higher than the participation rates in countries where compulsory voting is loosely applied. With the exception of 1960–1970, voter turnout rate in Turkey is above the world average from 1950 to the present in Turkey.
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