Turkey is a parliamentary representative. Since its foundation as a republic in 1923, Turkey has developed a strong tradition of secularism. Turkey”s constitution governs the legal framework of the country. It sets out the main principles of government and establishes Turkey as a unitary centralized state. The head of the state is the President of the Republic and has a largely ceremonial role. The president is elected for a seven-year term by the parliament but is not required to be one of its members. Executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers; which make up the government, while the legislative power is vested in the unicameral parliament, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. The judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature, and the Constitutional Court is charged with ruling on the conformity of laws and decrees with the constitution.
The Council of State is the tribunal of last resort for administrative cases, and the High Court of Appeals for all others. The Prime Minister is elected by the parliament through a vote of confidence in his government and is most often the head of the party that has the most seats in parliament.
There are 550 members of parliament who are elected for a four-year term by a partylist proportional representation system from 85 electoral districts, which represent the 81 administrative provinces of Turkey. To avoid a hung parliament and its excessive political fragmentation, only parties that win at least 10% of the votes cast in a national parliamentary election gain the right to representation in the parliament.
Turkey is a developed country, a founding member of the OECD and the G20 industrial nations, which brings together the 20 largest economies of the world. For most of its republican history, Turkey has adhered to a quasi-statist approach, with strict government controls over private sector participation, foreign trade, and foreign direct investment. However, during the 1980s, Turkey began a series of reforms and designed to shift the economy from a statist, insulated system to a more private-sector, market-based model. The GDP growth rate for 2005 was 7.4%, thus making Turkey one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Turkey’s economy is no longer dominated by traditional agricultural activities in the rural areas, but more so by a highly dynamic industrial complex in the major cities, mostly concentrated in the western provinces of the country, along with a developed services sector.