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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Turkey

Turkey

5. Participation

5.2 Youth participation in representative democracy

On this page
  1. Young people as voters
  2. Young people as political representatives

Young people as voters

Within the framework of the provision “All Turkish citizens over eighteen years of age shall have the right to vote in elections and to take part in referenda” in the article 67 “Right to vote, to be elected and to engage in political activity” of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, the voting age was determined as 18 with the amendment in 1995.

The article 76 “Eligibility to be a deputy” of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Anayasası) included the provision “Every Turk over the age of twenty-five is eligible to be a deputy”. In that respect, any Turkish citizen meeting the other conditions specified in the constitution who is at least 25 years old could be a candidate in the elections for legislative body. With the ratification of Constitutional Amendment in the referendum held on 16 April 2017, the age of candidacy has reduced to 18.

In local administrations (mayor, municipal council membership, general provincial council membership, muhtar and community council members), the age for eligibility is determined as 25 in 1993.

In Turkey the level of participation in the elections is high, the general elections of 2011, June 2015 and November 2015 saw general turnouts respectively of 85,22%, 83,96%, 86,13%. However, even youth turnout proves to be at the same level as the general turnout in the election surveys, there is no an official statistic to demonstrate the youth turnout. 

 

Young people as political representatives

 

The article 67 “Right to vote, to be elected and to engage in political activity” of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey includes the provision: “In conformity with the conditions set forth in the law, citizens have the right to vote, to be elected, to engage in political activities independently or in a political party, and to take part in a referendum”. Article 68 of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey includes the provision: “Citizens have the right to form political parties and duly join and withdraw from them. One must be over eighteen years of age to become a member of a party. The principles concerning the membership of students at higher education to political parties are regulated by law.”

Article 7 “Organisation of Political Parties” of the Political Parties Act (Siyasi Partiler Kanunu) includes the regulation; “Organisation of political parties is composed of the central bodies and provincial, district and country organisations; Grand National Assembly Group and general provincial council and municipal council groups. In the bylaws of the political parties, it may be anticipated that they can establish women’s branch, youth branch and similar subsidiary bodies as well as representations in foreign countries.” Within the framework of this legal regulation, all political parties include youth branches in their bylaws of establishment.

The average age of the present Assembly in Turkey is 50 and there are 9 members of the parliament who are younger than 30 as of the election date. In that framework, the ratio of young members of the parliament is 1.6%. In accordance with the bylaw of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the youngest six members of the parliament act as temporary clerk members in the organisation of the Interim Bureau of the Assembly.