Ask Mehmet: Turkey's general elections Sunday, June 7

  • Published
  • By Mehmet Birbiri
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Ask Mehmet is a forum for people to ask questions of the local area, as well as the outer confines of the region and the country as a whole. To submit a question, send an e-mail with the subject "Ask Mehmet" to Then, look for an answer to the question on the 39th Air Base Wing's official website at and Incirlik Air Base's Facebook page.

Question: Mehmet, when is Turkey's elections?

The colorful decorations of flags, banners, and signs on the streets and convoys of vehicles with loud speakers, and pictures of political party leaders and candidates will be seen throughout the country until the evening of Saturday, June 6. All those activities are due to the general elections scheduled for Sunday, June 7.

About 55 million voters will have the opportunity to cast their votes from 8 a.m. Saturday, June 6 until 5 p.m. Sunday, June 7.

On Sunday, no one except security forces members on duty, are allowed to carry any weapons. Selling and/or buying alcoholic beverages are also banned on Sunday. Additionally, news media cannot print, announce or broadcast any reports positive or negative about any political party or candidate on Sunday until 9 p.m. unless the High Election Board lifts that ban early.

The Turkish governmental system closely resembles England's system in many aspects. The Turkish constitution clearly marks the separation of the three powers of  the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.

The legislative power is exercised by the Turkish Grand National Assembly, generally referred to as parliament. It has 550 deputies representing 81 provinces of Turkey and members are elected through direct elections for four-year terms. The number of deputies representing each province is determined by the province's population. For instance, Adana has 14 deputies while Istanbul has 88 deputies in the parliament.

More than 20 political parties run in the elections. A political party must receive at least 10 percent of the votes nationwide to get a seat in Parliament. In Turkey, voters cast ballots for political parties' list or for independent candidates. 

The four political parties currently represented in the parliament are: Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Ahmet Davutoglu, Republican People's Party (CHP), led by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), led by Devlet Bahceli and Peoples' Democracy Party led by Selahattin Demirtas.

The National Assembly enacts, amends and abolishes laws, monitors the actions of the council of ministers (cabinet) and delegates to the council of ministers the authority to issue 'Decrees in Power of Law' for specific subjects. It also debates and passes the budget and bills for final accounts, ratifies the printing of currency, the declaration of war and international agreements.

The executive power is exercised by the prime minister and council of ministers.

The speaker of the national assembly also assumes presidential duties in the absence of the president on account of illness, foreign travel or death.

The current president is Recep Tayyip Erdogan who was elected in 2010.

The president is elected for a term of five years from among members of the national assembly or among Turkish citizens 40 years of age or older who are eligible to be elected to the parliament.

The president isn't supposed to have political ties with any political party. As the head of the state, the president represents the Republic of Turkey and the integrity of the Turkish nation. The president also appoints the Turkish representatives abroad.

Traditionally, the leader of the majority party is appointed as the prime minister. The prime minister appoints the subordinate ministers. The prime minister and the council of ministers are considered the actual rulers of the country.

On a local level, administrative bodies, mayors and city council members, are also elected through direct elections for five-year terms. The last local elections were held in 2014.

In addition, each province has a governor and each town has a sub-governor appointed by the government as the highest authority of the province or the town. Governors and sub-governors are appointed for an indefinite time period.

The judicial power is exercised by the independent courts on behalf of the Turkish nation.