Presidential decrees and the principle of legality under Turkish law


JURIDICAL TRIBUNE-TRIBUNA JURIDICA, vol.8, no.3, pp.779-788, 2018 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 8 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
  • Page Numbers: pp.779-788
  • Keywords: Presidential decree, principle of legality, secundum legem authority of administration, "original/primary" powers
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


As of July 9, 2018, Turkey abandoned the parliamentary system and has adopted a sui generis kind of presidential system of government. The said new governmental system provides the President, the Executive Organ of the Turkish State, with the authority to issue presidential decrees on matters relating to executive function, and such authority that is conferred directly by the Constitution "is neither dependent on a prior parliamentary mandate nor subject to any subsequent approval"(2). On the other hand, the principle of legality(3), an important constitutional principle relating to "the rule of law" states that the Legislative power is "original/primary", and that, as a rule, the Executive Organ possesses a secundum legem authority. As such, the prospective effects of the presidential decrees on the constitutional principle of legality will be reviewed in this study based on various discussions made by Turkish public law academics.