The President of the Republic of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Cumhurbaşkanı) is the head of state of the Republic of Turkey. Following the 2018 general election, the incumbent office holder will assume the role of an Executive President and become the head of state and head of government. In this capacity, the President represents the Republic of Turkey, and the unity of the Turkish nation, as well as ensuring the implementation of the Constitution of Turkey and the organized and harmonious functioning of the organs of state. The articles from 101 to 106 of the Constitution establish all the requirements, election, duties, and responsibilities for the office of the President. The office of the President of Turkey was established with the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey on 29 October 1923. The President of Turkey is often referred to as the Cumhurbaşkanı, meaning 'President of the People'.
For most of the time since 1950, the presidency has been mostly a ceremonial office. However, in a 2017 referendum, the Turkish people narrowly voted to make the presidency an executive post, effective with the 2018 general election.
The current office-holder is the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who holds the office since 28 August 2014. Since 9 July 2018, Erdoğan serves as the first Executive President, with increased legislative and judicial powers.
|President of Turkey
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
since 28 August 2014
Head of state |
Head of government (both since 2018)
|Term length||Five years, renewable once|
|Inaugural holder||Mustafa Kemal Atatürk|
|Formation||29 October 1923|
|Salary||~€150,000, annual |
In order to become the President of Turkey, the candidate must have completed higher education, and be at least forty years of age. If they are a member of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, they must resign their seat.
Turkish presidents were in the past required to sever all relations, if any, with their political party.
The election of the President must begin at least 30 days before the term of office of the incumbent president expires or 10 days after the presidency falls vacant, and must be completed within 30 days of the beginning of the election. Candidates must be declared to the bureau of the parliament within the first 10 days of this period, and elections must be completed within the remaining 20 days.
Formerly, the President was elected by the members of the Turkish Parliament. According to an amendment that was drafted in 2007, the future Presidents shall be elected by the citizens through a public vote. The candidates must be over forty years old and must have completed their higher education. They can either be members of the Turkish Parliament, or common Turkish citizens who fulfill these requirements and who are eligible to become members of parliament.
The President is selected for a term of office of five years, and be eligible for re-election .
The term of office of the incumbent president continues until the President-elect takes office.
On assuming office, the president takes the following oath before the parliament:
In my capacity as President of the Republic, I swear upon my honor and repute before the great Turkish nation and before history to safeguard the existence and independence of the state, the indivisible integrity of country and nation, and the sovereignty of the nation without restriction or stipulation; to abide by the Constitution, the rule of law, democracy, the principles and reforms of Atatürk, and the principle of a secular republic; not to deviate from the ideal of all enjoying human rights and basic freedoms in peace, prosperity and in a spirit of national solidarity and justice; to preserve and enhance the glory and honor of the Republic of Turkey and to work with all my strength to perform with impartiality the functions that I have assumed.
The president performs also the duties of selection and appointment, and other duties conferred by the constitution and laws.
All presidential decrees, except those which the president is empowered to enact on his own, must be signed by the prime minister and the minister concerned, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and other laws. Thus the prime minister and the concerned ministers are accountable for these decrees. The decisions and orders signed by the president on his own initiatives may not be appealed against to any judicial authority, including the Constitutional Court. The president may be impeached for high treason on the proposal of at least one-third of the total number of the members of the parliament, and by the decision of at least three-fourths of the total number of the members.
In the event of a temporary absence of the President on account of illness, travel abroad or similar circumstances, the Vice President (or TBMM Speaker until 2018) serves as Acting President, and exercises the powers of the President until the Presidents comes back. If the Presidents resigns or dies, the TBMM Speaker serves as Acting President, and exercises the powers of the President until the new election happens in 45 days.
There are two living former Turkish Presidents: