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85th Anniversary of "Turkish Grand National Assembly" - PARLIAMENT

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The first written constitution in Turkish history was adopted on 23 December 1876. This constitution, which carried the name of Fundamental Law, was not the result of a movement based on the will of the people, but was realized by means of the "Young Ottomans", the name given to the intellectuals who made a rather strong influence upon the sultan.
According to the 1876 Constitution, unconditional, unrestricted sovereignty belongs to the Ottoman Family. The sultan's person was "sacred". The legislative and executive powers definitely belonged to the sultan. The judicial power could be considered to be independent, but the right to give "amnesty" was definitely belonging to the sultan. All the basic rights were recognized for the citizens excluding the freedom to gather, form political parties and organizations. However, as it was possible to limit these rights by legal means and because there was no gauge on this subject, there was no legal guarantee for basic rights and freedoms. Also, the life, goods, honor and immunity of the homes of the citizens was guaranteed "within the law". Still, the sultan, as the result of a police investigation, could exile people abroad with the justification that they harmed the state. Thus, the judicial guarantee was also harmed to the greatest extent.
Despite all the deficiencies in the 1876 Constitution, it can be considered a very significant advance due to the fact that it was the first written legal document of the Ottoman State which did not have a tradition of democracy and because it commenced the "Constitutional" government.

The first Turkish parliament, under the name of "General Assembly", started activities on 20 March 1877 as a bicameral assembly. After elections in two steps, the "Chamber of Deputies" or as it is sometimes expressed, the "Parliament", was composed of 115 members, 69 who were Moslem and 46 who were non-Moslem. The "Senate" was composed of 26 members who were directly appointed by the Sultan.

On 23 April 1877, a short period after the General Assembly started to work, Russia opened war against the Ottoman State. During the war, because of the criticisms and strong attacks on the government by the representatives of the nation, the Assembly of Deputies was dispersed by the sultan on 28 June 1877. On 13 December 1877, following the results of the elections held, the second assembly of national representatives in Turkish history was convened. However, as a result of an unfavorable development in the Russian war, this new Assembly was once again dispersed by the sultan on 14 February 1878.

Abdülhamit II, the sultan at the time, governed the country from 1878 to 1908 without convening the Assembly. Around the beginning of 1908, due to gradually increasing foreign developments and extremely violent opposition of the intellectuals, he was forced to summon the General Assembly to a meeting on 23 July 1908.
In this way, the period of the Second Constitutional Monarchy was opened. At the same time, when the Constitution was once again put into practice in this period, it was also mentioned in Turkish political life as the "declaration of freedom". The constitution was changed eight times in 1909, 1912, 1914 and 1916. By this means, the structure of the 1876 Constitution experienced significant changes many times.
As a result of the changes, the right of the Sultan to exile citizens abroad, with a claim of harmful activities, was abrogated. Freedom of the press was expanded and a ban on censorship was made. The liberties to hold meetings and to form organizations was recognized for the citizens. From now on they would also be able to establish political parties. Furthermore, the government was held responsible to the Assembly. The provision of the Assembly being dispersed whenever the sultan wanted it became bound by firm restrictions. The institution of interpellation was established. Definite limits were brought to the sultan's legislative authority. The right to directly propose a draft bill of a law was recognized directly for members of the Assembly. It was accepted that the Assembly chooses the Assembly Speaker without the interference of the sultan.
The democratic parliamentary system brought by these constitutional changes made in 1909 did not last for long due to domestic and foreign events. In an environment of a worn out political struggle, and adding as well the bitter days of the Tripoli War in 1911 and the Balkan Wars that started in October 1912, with the changes made in the Constitution in 1914 and 1916, the sultan's power to dissolve the Assembly was increased step by step. Furthermore, the single party dictatorship of the "Committee of Union and Progress" party, that was in the position of the strongest party, formed one of the most important reasons obstructing the course for democratic development.
One year after the agreements made in the fall of 1913 that ended the Balkan Wars, the Ottoman State was in a predicament of participating in the First World War. In the year the war ended, Mehmet VI (Vahdettin) ascended the throne on 3 July 1918, as the last sultan of the Ottoman State. The First World War concluded with defeat. After the Mudros Armistice, which was signed on 30 October 1918, Sultan Mehmet VI dispersed the Parliament on 21 December 1918. In spite of all the reactions of the public, by treading on the distinct provision of the Constitution, the Parliament was only reconvened on 12 January 1920.

The Entente Powers who were the victors of the First World War had shared the Ottoman country on paper. According to these plans of sharing, the political existence of the Turkish nation was completely eliminated and except for a small region, the homeland on which she had lived for a thousand years was being confiscated.

Based on the provisions of the Mudros Armistice which was signed on 30 October 1918, some locations in the Turkish homeland started to be occupied as of 1 November 1918. Various separatist organizations entered into preparations for revolt while the Turkish Army was being dissolved.
Right after this, towards the end of 1918 some of the patriots in Anatolia and Thrace started to establish resistance organizations under the name of "Defense of Rights". Although some intellectuals thought about the means for liberation, it was not easy to unite the forces and to open a struggle that would create a national and a general awakening. Disorganization, lack of means and a general pessimism was observed almost everywhere in the country due to different opinions.
A voice rose from/within this darkness, in harmony with the political developments that had lasted for years and the historical character of the Turkish nation. Mustafa Kemal Pasha put forth that there would not be any other means of liberation in this situation other than the founding of a new, independent Turkish State based on national sovereignty.
On 15 May 1919, one day after the Greeks occupied Ýzmir, Mustafa Kemal Pasha, who was appointed the 9th Army Inspector, departed from Istanbul to Anatolia together with some of the friends he had obtained for his military headquarters.
The process of transition in Turkish history from personal sovereignty to national sovereignty was also started with the arrival of Mustafa Kemal (Atatürk) in Samsun on 19 May 1919.
The preparations made at Samsun and later at Havza as well ignited the first lights of liberation. Notices were distributed which made known that the national movement had started, such as, "...the liberation of our history and our national independence will only be feasible with the defense of the nation as a single body..." Everywhere instructions were given to military and civilian offices for the organization of protest demonstrations.

The first preparatory activities for reaching this objective, that lasted ten days, were concluded on 21-22 June 1919 with the famous "Amasya Circular" which could be considered as the departure plan for national sovereignty. In this short, but meaningful document, it is being stated in an explicit language, "the independence of the nation will be saved once more by the determination and decisiveness of the people".
The basic points of the Amasya Circular are as follows:
The independence of the nation and the integrity of the

1. The Istanbul Government is not performing the requirements for the responsibilities they have undertaken. This situation is showing our country as though it virtually ceased to exist.
2. The independence of the nation will be saved once more by the determination and decisiveness of the people.
3. The existence of a national delegation that is distant from all kinds of constraints and controls is mandatory to start acting according to the conditions and situation of the country and to make its rights heard in a loud voice by the world.
4. It has been decided to gather a national congress in Sivas that is the most secure location in Anatolia from all aspects.
5. For this it is necessary to send immediately three representatives who have gained the trust of the country from every subdivision of each province so that they can arrive as quickly aspossible.
6. Just in case, this matter should be kept in the form of a national secret and the representatives, where necessary, should make their trips without making themselves known.
7. In the name of the Eastern provinces, a congress will gather at Erzurum on 23 July. If the representatives of the other provinces can come to Sivas at this date, then the members of the Erzurum Congress will leave to attend the Sivas General Congress.

The Erzurum Congress convened on 23 July 1919. Finally, all the patriots firmly gathered together around Atatürk.
At the Erzurum Congress, it was decided on the one hand that with cooperation it would be attempted to struggle with the enemy of the people in the Eastern provinces that are an inseparable part of the homeland and on the other hand as well, as a national wish, the need was stressed to take the required preventive measures by gathering the Parliament in Ýstanbul.
The local congress movement started in Erzurum continued in the West in the Marmara and Aegean regions which were in a state of despair under the Greek threats. Congresses were gathered in Balýkesir on 26 July 1919, in Nazilli on 6 August and in Alaþehir on 16 August. As a result of these congresses, the patriotic militia forces were established under the name of the "National Forces".


On 4 September 1919 the Sivas Congress gathered, which was the basis for the founding of the new Turkish State based on the principle of national sovereignty.
At the Congress the representatives of the people reached a mutual decision on the subject of the "homeland being an indivisible whole". All the local resistance organizations in the country united under the name of the "Anatolian and Rumelian Defense of Rights Association". Naturally, Mustafa Kemal Pasha was elected to the chairmanship of this organization. The "Committee of Representatives", that was formed as the result of the Congress, gained an attribute which reflected the wishes of the people. However, the spiritual and emotional burden of the Istanbul Government was still continuing.
Because of this, the Sivas Congress did not display the "founding" attribute which Mustafa Kemal Pasha desired and it was decided to inform the sultan and to gather the Parliament immediately for the liberation of the homeland.
However, this decision was also a significant step. The second stage was also completed in the transition to national sovereignty and the struggle for independence.

The results of the Sivas Congress were met with great enthusiasm throughout the country and the thought gradually gained strength that the national movement was dominant everywhere. Atatürk came to Ankara on 27 December 1919. The central administrative location for the War of Independence and for the new national State that would be founded had also become definite.
The final Ottoman Parliament gathered on 12 January 1920 in compliance with the decision of the Sivas Congress. However, the patriots in the Parliament, in spite of all their efforts, could not do away with the atmosphere and the habits of the system based on the sovereignty of the sultan. In this situation, the final hopes connected to the Parliament were also destroyed. But still, an important decision of a constitutional nature could be made. This decision was the "National Pact" dated 28 January 1920.
Every Parliament member, who was a supporter of the national forces, expended great efforts for this oath to be accomplished on behalf of the nation and finally the acceptance of this decision was realized.

The National Pact is in summary as follows :
The places where the citizens live in units composed of religion, race and origin cannot be broken away from the country in any manner within the drawn boundaries of the Armistice Agreement signed at the end of the World War.
The Straits can be opened on the condition that Istanbul, the center of the Ottoman Sultanate and the Caliphate, is found to be secure.
It is necessary to hold a referendum in Kars, Ardahan and Batum which were wished to be held outside of the Armistice boundaries and in Western Thrace that was severed from us previously.
Also a referendum should be held in the locations in the Ottoman State where Arabs are in the majority.
No agreement will be accepted that will limit our political and economic independence.
If these conditions are not accepted, then it is impossible to make peace.

In response to this decision, the Entente Powers forced the Istanbul Government to begin to act against the national forces. Istanbul was officially occupied on 16 March 1920. The Chamber of Deputies was raided. The supporters of the Anatolian movement and a number of intellectuals were arrested. The Official Departments were seized. The Ottoman state was de facto terminated on 16 March. The Parliament, which gathered two days later, was left no choice but to stop performing their activities for a while. It was dispersed by the sultan on 11 April 1920. The last Ottoman Chamber of Deputies had become a thing of the past. The national and legal basis of the principle of the "indivisibility of the Turkish homeland and the people" that is found in the current Constitution of the Republic of Turkey, is the spirit of the "National Pact" which is still alive.


Three days after the occupation of Istanbul, Atatürk published his famous 19 March 1920 announcement. It was established in definite and resolute expressions in the announcement that, "an Assembly would be gathered in Ankara that would possess extraordinary powers, how the members who would participate in the assembly would be elected and the need to undertake elections at the latest within fifteen days".
Furthermore, the members of the dispersed Chamber of Deputies could also participate in the Assembly in Ankara. The Turkish Grand National Assembly, established on national sovereignty, held its first opening session with the participation of enthusiastic people on 23 April 1920.

Foundations of the Turkish Republic were laid down in this historic building. The first Parliament House witnessed many debates and national resolutions as the conducting center of the National Liberation War. This house exhibits now memories of the early years as the Museum of the Liberation War.
It was as though there was no suitable building where the Assembly would be able to gather in the circumstances of that day in Ankara. Finally, a single storied building, that was built as the Committee for Union and Progress Club in the Second Constitutional Monarchy period, was found to be acceptable.
When the preparations were completed, Atatürk, with his second announcement published on 21 April, disclosed that the Assembly would convene on 23 April and how the opening ceremony would be held.
Everyone gathered around the Assembly Building in Ankara at an early hour on Friday morning, 23 April 1920. The people were full of excitement at taking their own fate under control. After the noonday prayer at the Haci Bayram Mosque, a magnificent ceremony was held at the entrance to the Assembly building which filled their eyes with tears. The 115 members of parliament who were able to come to Ankara convened in the Assembly hall at 1:45 p.m.
According to the traditions of the parliament, the eldest member who was the Sinop Member of Parliament, Þerif Bey (1845), climbed up to the Chairmanship podium and opened the first meeting of the assembly by making the speech given below:
Estimable people who are present here,
It is known by all of us that Istanbul has been occupied temporarily by foreign powers and that the independence of the center of government and the office of the caliphate and all its foundations have been eliminated.
To submit to this situation means to accept the proposed foreign slavery of our nation.
However, our nation which is definitely determined to live in complete independence and that has lived freely and independently since time immemorial, has definitely and to the last degree refused to acknowledge the situation of slavery and by starting immediately to gather their representatives, has produced our Supreme Assembly.

In the capacity of the eldest member of this Supreme Assembly and with God's assistance and by directly taking on the burden of the responsibility of destiny for complete internal and external independence of our nation, I am opening the Grand National Assembly, by proclaiming to the entire world that we have started to govern ourselves.
In this opening speech, the name of the new Turkish parliament based on national sovereignty was determined as the "Grand National Assembly". This name was accepted by everyone. Later, with its form taken in all of Atatürk's speeches and for the first time in writing in the Council of Ministers decision of 8 February 1921, the name gained permanence as the "Turkish Grand National Assembly" (TGNA).

The TGNA elected Mustafa Kemal Pasha (Atatürk) to the presidency in its second meeting held on 24 April 1920. Mustafa Kemal Pasha continued the presidency of the TGNA, which had been founded with his own initiative, until 29 October 1923, the day when he was elected as President of the Republic.
Two days after its opening, the Assembly, which would not only have legislative power, but also executive power, started its preparatory activities for the legal and political structure. These arrangements showed that the TGNA had adopted the principle of unity of powers.

A law was promulgated on 2 May 1920 concerning the selection of the Council of Ministers. The "Assembly Government" composed of 11 Ministers held its first meeting on 5 May under the presidency of the President, Mustafa Kemal Pasha.

The first international agreement made by the TGNA was the Gümrü Peace Agreement signed with the Republic of Armenia on 3 December 1920. Thus, the Eastern front was closed. The new Turkish State and the principles of the National Pact were recognized in the Moscow Agreement signed with Russia on 16 March 1921. As a result of the First Inonii Victory between 6-11 January 1921, the Second Inönü Victory between 23-31 March 1921 and the Sakarya Victories on 13 September 1921, the French withdrew from the war with the Ankara Agreement signed on 20 October 1921. At the end of the same year, the Italians entered into cooperation with the TGNA government. In 1922, the TGNA had good relations with all the countries, excluding Greece and the United Kingdom.

The Armies of the TGNA won the Great Victory on 26 August 1922. Ýzmir was liberated on 9 September 1922. On 18 September 1922 no foreign military power remained in Anatolia. In response to these successes, on 11 October 1922, the new Turkish State signed the Mudanya Armistice with the Entente Powers, including the United Kingdom as well. Eastern Thrace was liberated. The allied Powers decided to hold peace talks at Lausanne on 27 October 1922. The Lausanne Peace Agreement was signed on 24 July 1923 as the result of discussions that lasted for a long period of time and it was ratified by the TGNA on 24 August 1923. The new Turkish State had succeeded in gaining military, political and economic freedom.

1st Anniversy in front of the first building of TGNA.

The first discussions on the Constitution made by the TGNA started on 19 November 1920 and were accepted with a vote taken on 20 January 1921. In this way, the first Constitution was adopted based on the principle of national sovereignty.
The Constitution of 1921 was a rather short text composed of 23 articles. The first nine articles enumerated the basic principles on which the State was based.
The principles were expressed in the most definite and open manner that unconditional, unrestricted sovereignty belongs to the nation, that the legislative and executive powers were gathered in the TGNA which is the only and real representative of the nation, and the principles of unity of powers and a state based on the people.
However, significant deficiencies of the Constitution of 1921 were the lack of a head of State, the fact that the rights and freedoms of the citizens were not established, and the lack of provisions related to the judiciary.

The principle of national sovereignty brought with the Constitution of 1921 and the will of the Sultan created a contradiction. The office of the sultanate remained in a void. The sultanate was abolished with a decision made by the TGNA on 1 November 1922. The sultanate was abrogated and personal sovereignty legally became a thing of the past. The natural result of this decision would be the founding of the Republic regime.

On 13 October 1923 a decision was approved to make Ankara the capital city.
On 29 October 1923, the motion of Atatürk and his colleagues to change some articles of the Constitution was accepted in the Grand National Assembly with applause and a unanimous vote. In the first article of the Constitution was placed the provision "The form of government of the Turkish State is a Republic". The evening of the same day, Mustafa Kemal Pasha (Atatürk) was elected the first President of the Republic of Turkey.
With the abolishment of the sultanate and the proclamation of the Republic, the "Caliphate", which was continuing its existence within the system, also reached a situation where it was unnecessary and nonfunctional. The draft bill of the law given by Sheik Saffet Effendi, the Urfa Member of Parliament and his colleagues on 3 March 1924, was accepted in the General Assembly and the Caliphate was abolished and the duties of the caliph also became a thing of the past.

The TGNA's first constitution of 1921 was only able to remain in force for three years. It had remained behind the developments and there were significant deficiencies and it was inadequate. The preparations as a whole were undertaken for a new constitution. The republic period constitution was accepted in the General Assembly with a great majority vote on 20 April 1924. The new constitution was based on the principle of cooperation within a republican regime. It was composed of 105 articles.
The Constitution of 1924 played an important role in the development of the Turkish political life. It was open to the establishment of political parties and consequently to democracy. The classic rights and freedoms were included.
Some other basic principles were brought to the 1924 Constitution with the changes made in 1928, 1934 and 1937. The change of 10 April 1928 gave a secular character to the State. With the change of 5 December 1934, the complete right to vote and be elected was recognized for women. The change of 5 February 1937 was determining the attributes of "republicanism, nationalism, populism, statism, secularism and reformism".
The Constitution of 1924, with its deficiencies and changes, was the text with the longest life-span in Turkish Constitutional history. It remained in force for 36 years, complete and uninterrupted.

Previous to the proclamation of the Republic, the first political party of the new Turkish State was officially established on 23 October 1923 uner the name of the "People's Party" (later it took the name of the Republican People's Party). Mustafa Kemal Atatiirk was also elected as its Chairman. What a pity, the experiments at establishing political parties were not successful up until 1945. The tendency for a transition to a multi-party life gained strength after the conclusion of the Second World War. The first political party of this period was the "National Development Party" founded on 18 July 1945. Later, the "Democrat Party" was established on 7 January 1946. The first election in the history of the Republic of Turkey in which more than one party participated was held on 21 July 1946. Along with this election, a multi-party life was adopted in a short period of time, up until 1950, 25 more political parties were established in the country. As a result of the elections of 14 May 1950, the Democrat Party won 397 of the 487 seats for members of parliament and came to power in place of the Republican People's Party.

The military power, which seized the administration of the country with the 27 May revolution, formed a "Constituent Assembly" to make a new constitution. The new constitution, that was prepared within a year, was submitted to a referendum on 9 July 1961. The new constitution was accepted with a total of 61.5 percent "yes" votes in a balloting in which 81 percent of the voters participated.
In this way, for the first time in Turkish history, a constituent assembly prepared a constitution and this constitution was accepted with a referendum.
The Constitution of 1961 was a long and detailed text. It brought significant innovations. It contained a provision that national sovereignty "would be used by means of authoritative organs" and so the principle of a separation of powers.
The legislative and supervision power would be carried out by the Assembly; along with the executive departing from the assembly, the executive was formed as a separate organ by the President and the Council of Ministers; and the judiciary power would be carried out by independent courts.
Another one of the significant changes was the establishment of a "bicameral assembly" structure, composed of the "National Assembly" and the "Republic Senate". Furthermore, to determine whether or not the laws were contrary to the Constitution, a "Constitutional Court" was established and emphasis was placed on judiciary supervision.
The basic rights and freedoms were established in a detailed manner, which had not been observed in any Turkish constitution up until that time. Limits were also put on the limitations of basic rights and freedoms. In addition, the constitution gave the responsibility for many social obligations to the State.
The Constitution of 1961, together with the changes made in 1971, remained in force until the second military coup d'etat undertaken in 1980.

The mechanisms established with long and detailed provisions in the Constitution of 1961 did not operate well. A harmonious working environment was not obtained among institutions because sovereignty was divided among various organs. Political and social instability paved the way to crises; as a result, the country was confronted with a second military coup d'etat on 12 September 1980. The Constitution was suspended and the political parties were closed. Political bans were brought to a large number of the politicians.
The military power seized the government and just as in 1960, a "Constituent assembly" was formed for a new constitution. The new constitution was prepared within two years and was submitted to a referendum on 7 November 1982. The rate of participation in the referendum was 91.27 percent. As a result, the Constitution of 1982 was accepted with 91.37 percent of the valid "yes" votes.
The biggest innovation brought with the Constitution of 1982 was the unicameral Assembly system, that is, a return to the Republic tradition. The executive was somewhat more strengthened. New and more severe measures were brought on the subject of limiting freedoms. New statutes were given to autonomous organizations. Excluding these, a large portion of the Constitution of 1982 resembles the Constitution of 1961.
After the Constitution of 1982 was adopted, the first election for members of parliament was held on 6 November 1983 with the participation of the newly established Nationalist Democracy Party, the Populist Party and the Motherland Party, and without the political parties, which had previously been closed. The democratic process started once again.
The General Elections for Members of Parliament held on 20 October 1991, was realized with a large number of freely established political parties and with all the politicians, whose rights to engage in politics had been taken away previously, succeeding in getting their freedoms once again. Parliamentary democracy succeeded in obtaining a working order with all its requirements.
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The Assembly building of today is the third building of the Turkish parliament that was established on 23 April 1920 based on the principle of national sovereignty.
The construction of the building located in the Ulus district of Ankara where the first meeting of the national parliament was held was started by architect Hasip Bey in 1915. After Atatürk's arrival in Ankara on 27 December 1919, it was decided to use the structure as the Assembly building. The first period Bursa Member of Parliament Necati Bey was given the duty of undertaking the needed repairs and arrangements for making the building suitable for the meetings of the Assembly.

The first parliament building is a one story stone structure over a basement with the dimensions of 22X43 meters, and one somewhat large hall and nine rooms of all sizes. A richness and depth was gained for the external fagades with arches/broad eaves and two balconies.
This very small, unsuitable building where all the military and political decisions were made during the War of Independence and the establishment of the State and where the Republic was proclaimed was used up until 18 October 1924.
This historical building is now open to the public as the "War of Independence Museum".

The construction of the TGNAs second building was started by architect Vedat Bey (1873-1942) in 1923 and it was completed in a short period of time and was opened for use on 18 October 1924. The second building was in the same district and at a distance of approximately 50 meters from the first parliament building.
The interior sections of the structure which is two stories over a basement were arranged on three sides of the General Assembly meeting chamber in the center. The ceilings on the upper floor were adorned with Ottoman decorative motifs.
In the large meeting chamber are located loges for listeners and wooden wall panels decorated with star motifs.
There are a capital gate, arches, eaves and glazed tile decorations here and there on the external fagade.
As of the first years of the Republic, significant developments in Turkish political history were experienced at the second Parliament Building which was used for 36 years. This building also continues its existence today as the "Republic Museum".


The architect of the third building where the activities of the TGNA are continuing at present was the Austrian architect Prof. Clemens Holzmeister (1886-1983) who won the project contest opened in 1938. Prof. Holzmeister was also at the same time the architect of many State structures in the capital city of Ankara.
On 11 January 1937, with a law promulgated by the TGNA, it was decided to open a project contest for the construction of a new parliament building of a "monumental quality and suitable to the permanence of the Republic of Turkey and the architectural characteristics of the twentieth century".
The contest in which 14 projects participated was finished on 28 January 1928 and the jury choose three projects worthy of a first prize. As a result, it was decided to apply Clemens Holzmeister's project which was also liked by Atatürk. The construction of the building was started on 26 October 1939 with the groundbreaking ceremony by Aldülhalik Renda (1881-1948), the Assembly Chairman od the period.
Great difficulties were endured from time to time in finding financial resources for the construction of the building. Meanwhile, the starting of the Second World War also paved the way to even greater difficulties. For these reasons, the construction activities could only continue at intervals.
The construction of the new Assembly building was acceleretad after 1957 and it was opened for use on January 1961.
The Assembly located on a 475,521 square meter plot of land and the settlement area of the main building is 19,372 square meters. From the viewpoint of functional internal space the total volume is 56,775 square meters. The five story building has a front facade whose length is 248 meters.
The architectural chararacteristics and the general structure of the TGNA building has been designed with a sober, wellbuilt and lasting attribute, in a manner that will symbolize the strength and immortality of the Republic of Turkey.

The Honor Entrance is located on the front facade of the Main Building in the central area and under the wings of the bridge are entrance doors one and two, while on the back facade entrance doors three and four are situated.

It is traversing with five large bronze doors from the Honor Entrance, which has a monumental quality, to the Reception Hall in the interior. From here it is entering a marbled hall and contemned galleries which have two inside gardens.

The General Assembly Meeting Hall is located in the central space which is surrounded by these galleries that are the lobbies of the members of parliament.
In the assembly hall there are 524 seats for the members and 955 in the audience loges for a total of 1479 seats.

Relative to the Chairman's podium, the loges on the left side are sections reserved for the President and the official administrators while on the right are located the loges of the diplomatic corps.
The first loge opposite the podium has been set aside for the members of the press and the loges above this loge have been retained for the audience composed of citizens.
Discussions in the General Assembly can also be followed outside of the assembly hall with a television system.
In the building, excluding the General Assembly Hall, there are three large meeting halls set aside for 176, 415 and 700 persons and in addition, there are 44 meeting rooms and 352 rooms of all sizes.
In one of the two winged sections attached with bridge crossings that extend on two sides of the building is located the office of the Assembly Presidency and its working offices and the rooms of the members of the Bureau; in the section at the other end is located the TGNA Ceremony Hall formed of three large concentric halls.

In the Main Building, excluding the General Assembly hall, are located the administrative offices reserved for the political parties, the meeting rooms of the committees, the Assembly library, the computer center, archive, offices set aside for the press and publication organizations, two large restaurants, the barber and shoeshine shops, the PTT, the airline and railroad ticket sales offices and the General Secretariat and the connected service units.

Behind the Assembly Main Building is the Public Relations Building reserved for the members of parliament where buildings and areas are found such as the covered parking lot and garage, mosque, personnel building, printing house, health center, heating center, outdoor sport facilities, greenhouse for flowers and security services.
The Public Relations Building where the working offices of the members of parliament and some of the service units are located as well was opened for service on 25 January 1984.
This building is 4 stories high and has an area of 14.000 square meters. It is composed of two separete blocks connected to each other by a bridge crossing. Furthermore, there is an underpass to the Main Building and the closed parking lot.

icy said:
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23 April is celebrated as "National Sovereignty and Children's Day" in Turkey which features festivals in all cities of the country, with children from all over the world.

This holiday has been an international event since 1979, when the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) first organized it. Since then, children from all over the world have been getting together and having fun every April 23. April 23 occupies an important place in the history of the Republic of Turkey, since it is the day when the Turkish Grand National Assembly was first inaugurated, under very difficult conditions, resulting from the situation at the time. After the Republic was proclaimed, Atatürk dedicated this day to children and called it, 'National Sovereignty and Children's Day'. In line with his dictum, 'Peace at Home, peace in the World', Atatürk respected the sovereignty of all nations, and thus decided that National Sovereignty Day should be held at the same time as Children's day.

If the whole world were to celebrate 23 April as a children’s festival, then respect for national sovereignty and brotherhood would attain universal dimensions. The child is the hope of the future and when they grow up and become leaders, they will remember the joy and enthusiasm of festivals held during their childhood. If they live in an atmosphere of peace and friendship, then they will realize what Atatürk meant by the motto, 'Peace at Home, peace in the World' and they will pass this concept on to future generations.
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System ellerine sağlık. Hem banner, hem bu başlık harika oldu. Sana ne kadar teşekkür etsek azdır. Sağol kardeşim...
One of the best threads I ever saw.
"Sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the people" M. Kemal Atatürk


This national day (23 April National Sovereignty and Children's Day) in Turkey is a unique event. The founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, dedicated April 23 to the children of the country to emphasize that they are the future of the new nation. It was on April 23, 1920, during the War of Independence, that the Grand National Assembly met in Ankara and laid down the foundations of a new, independent, secular, and modern republic from the ashes of the Ottoman Empire. Following the defeat of the Allied invasion forces on September 9, 1922 and the signing of the Treaty of Lausanne on July 24, 1923, Ataturk started his task of establishing the institutions of the new state. Over the next eight years, Ataturk and his followers adopted sweeping reforms to create a modern Turkey, divorced from her Ottoman past. In unprecedented moves, he dedicated the sovereignty day to the children and entrusted in the hands of the youth the protection of this sovereignty and independence.

Every year, the children in Turkey celebrate this "Sovereignty and Children's Day" as a national holiday. Schools participate in week-long ceremonies marked by performances in all fields in large stadiums watched by the entire nation. Among the activities on this day, the children send their representatives to replace state officials and high ranking bureaucrats in their offices. The President, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet Ministers, provincial governors all turn over their positions to children's representatives. These children, in turn, sign executive orders relating to educational and environmental policies. On this day, the children also replace the parliamentarians in the Grand National Assembly and hold a special session to discuss matters concerning children's issues.

Over the last two decades, the Turkish officials have been working hard to internationalize this important day. Their efforts resulted in large number of world states' sending groups of children to Turkey to participate in the above stated festivities. During their stay in Turkey, the foreign children are housed in Turkish homes and find an important opportunity to interact with the Turkish kids and learn about each other's countries and cultures. The foreign children groups also participate in the special session of the Grand National Assembly. This results in a truly international Assembly where children pledge their commitment to international peace and brotherhood.

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Today there was a bad weather here in Istanbul so i couldn't take good pictures but while in my car i've came across with a Volkswagen Beetle and Transporter convoy! There were some 50-60 cars! With all Turkish flags, obviously celebrating this important day.

I got out of my car and tried to picture this nice convoy, could only managed to take the picture of a very little part of the convoy as they were moving. There were some very interesting looking beetles but could not manage to picture all of them. Pictures were not great under the hard circumstances but still nice to share in my opinion.

Nice 85. yıllara!


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^Cool. I haven't seen any Beetle Club exhibitions in Ankara for a long time. Today, weather was awful in Ankara too. :(

Btw thanks for the comments :bowtie: Please post pics of celebrations this year if you can find some. There was going to be a concert and fireworks show in Ankara, if it is not canceled because of rain.
great thread and great banner system. you did a good job:applause: now im enjoying to read this history again, thanks.
nice mutlu yillara...
Levent and Maslak in the day of 85th Year of Turkish Parliament, 23 April 2005 (Actually 1-2 days earlier)

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great thread and verty very informative.


don't know why i took so long to read it.
86th now

I celebrate 23rd of April for children and for all God bless Turkey
Actually, the first Turkish parliment was the KURULTAY of Cingghis Qahan...
bu sene gökdelenler bazi "türkiyeli" vatansadlarimiz tarafindan taslanir diye bayrak asmiyorlar mi? Genelde ben TR'de fazla asilmis türk bayragi görmedim, bunun bir sebebi var mi gercekten yoksa millet artik eskisi gibi bayrak asmiyor mu balkonlarina?
Tekir said:
Actually, the first Turkish parliment was the KURULTAY of Cingghis Qahan...
whas it Turkish?
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