Consitution of Turkey.jpg
Article 4 of the Constitution

(as of 1982)

The provision of Article 1 regarding the form of the State being a Republic, the characteristics of the Republic in Article 2, and the provisions of Article 3 shall not be amended, nor shall their amendment be proposed.

Reference articles:​


Article 1

The State of Turkey is a Republic.

Article 2

The Republic of Turkey is a democratic, secular and social state governed by rule of law, within the notions of public peace, national solidarity and justice, respecting human rights, loyal to the nationalism of Atatürk, and based on the fundamental tenets set forth in the preamble.

Article 3

The State of Turkey, with its territory and nation, is an indivisible entity.

Its language is Turkish.

Its flag, the form of which is prescribed by the relevant law, is composed of a white

crescent and star on a red background.

Its national anthem is the “Independence March”.

Its capital is Ankara.

Evolution of the Doctrine
Useful Resources

Perhaps the most well-known recent application of the doctrine is in Leyla Şahin v Turkey (2005), which is commonly known as the headscarf decision. The Constitutional Court held that the amendment to the Constitution was unconstitutional because it is a derogation that detracts from Turkey's character as a republic.


Aharon Barak, “Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments” (2011) 44 Isr. L. Rev. 321-340. Available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2686046


Ergun Ozbudun, Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments in Turkey, 15(4) Eur. Pub. L. 533. Available at http://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.kluwer/epl0015&section=44


European Court of Human Rights – Summaries of Judgement, “Leyla Sahin v. Turkey - Zeynep Tekin v. Turkey” (2004-2005) 15 Human Rights Case Digest 281. Available at https://heinonline.org/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/hurcd15&id=285&collection=journals&index


Lars Vinx and Gülsen Seven “The Democratic Legitimacy of Strong Constitutional Entrenchment: The Cases of Turkey and India” Available at https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/03dd/d5b9059f496f18c537f91ba704cde0c9ed9e.pdf


Richard Albert, David Landau, Pietro Faraguna and Simon Drugda, “2016 Global Review of Constitutional Law” I·CONnect-Clough Center 216-220. Available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3014378


Yaniv Roznai, “Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments: A Study of the Nature and Limits of Constitutional Amendment Powers” (2014) Available at http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/915/1/Roznai_Unconstitutional-constitutional-amendments.pdf


Yaniv Roznai and Serkan Yolcu, “An unconstitutional constitutional amendment—The Turkish perspective: A comment on the Turkish Constitutional Court’s headscarf decision” (2012) 10(1) International Journal of Constitutional Law 175–207. Available at https://academic.oup.com/icon/article/10/1/175/689940


Yaniv Roznai, “Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments - The Migration and Success of a Constitutional Idea” (2013) 61 Am. J. Comp. L. 657-719. Available at https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2297734



Ergun Özbudun, “The Constitutional System of Turkey: 1876 to Present” (Palgrave: New York, 2011) Available at https://books.google.com.hk/books?id=gcfGAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA162&lpg=PA162&dq=Turkish+Constitutional+Court,+June+5,+2008,+No.+2008/16;&source=bl&ots=vpNnHXlhNc&sig=ACfU3U2DaLYwEgf7emRNnHqaXtM65Nl9NQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjR6o_tpPDjAhWbFogKHRaOC3gQ6AEwCnoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=Turkish%20Constitutional%20Court%2C%20June%205%2C%202008%2C%20No.%202008%2F16%3B&f=false


Ergun Özbudun & Ömer Faruk Gençkaya, “Democratization and the Politics of Constitution-Making in Turkey” (Central European University Press, 2009). Available at https://epdf.pub/democratization-and-the-politics-of-constitution-making-in-turkey.html


Kemal Gözler, “Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments: A Comparative Study” (Ekin Press, 2008) Available at http://www.anayasa.gen.tr/jrca.pdf



Turkish Constitutional Law Materials in English by Kemal Gözler