Local Authorities

Turkey is a unitary polity based on parliamentary system. The President of the Republic is elected by popular vote since 2014. The executive power is exercised by the President and the Council of Ministers composed of the prime minister and twenty five ministers.


The National Parliament has 550 seats for parliamentary deputies elected for a four-year term. Currently, four political parties have seats in the National Parliament. The Justice and Development Party has been in power since November 2002. The next parliamentary elections will be held on 7 June 2015.


The Constitutional Court reviews the constitutionality of laws. An amendment in 2010 to the Constitution introduced the right to individually apply to the Constitutional Court against violations of fundamental rights and freedoms by the public authority. This right to individual application is now effectively in operation.


Turkey is administratively divided into 81 provinces, and 919 districts (i.e. subprovinces). The central government is organized on the basis of provinces and districts. Governors represent the central government apparatus across the provinces, whereas district governors do so for districts. Ministries usually have offices in provinces and districts.


The remit of the central government covers, in addition to such basic state functions as defence and justice, the discharge of service functions in security, disaster management, economy, healthcare, education and social services etc. While the government policies have since 2003 driven to decentralize the public services and some have been devolved to municipalities; many public services of local nature are still delivered by or through the central government.


On the other hand, Ministries that control public resources and wield public power continue to exercise direct or indirect tutelage in many areas on local governments.


Local governments in Turkey accounted for 12.87% of all public expenditures in 2013. The share of municipalities and municipal affiliated entities stood at 10.51%. In contrast, the average share of local and regional governments in OECD countries was 32% in public expenditures.