An Overview Of Turkey S Modern Legal System Term Paper

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Sports Type: Term Paper Paper: #35731912 Related Topics: Sports Law, Contract Law, European Union, Civil Law
Excerpt from Term Paper :

¶ … Turkish Legal System

Standing at the crossroads between Asia and Europe, Turkey is currently a strategically important member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization as well as an associate member and candidate country for full European Union membership (Turkey government, 2016). With a history that dates to antiquity, though, Turkey has experienced numerous foreign invasions over the centuries and, not surprisingly, these numerous foreign influences have also had an effect on the country's legal system. To determine this effect with some precision, this paper reviews the relevant literature to provide a description of the history of the Turkish legal system and its current state. Finally, a summary of the research and important findings about Turkey's legal system are provided in the conclusion.

Review and Discussion

At the turn of the 14th century, Turkey was comprised of semi-autonomous hereditary patriarchal tribes and legal decisions were the responsibility of tribal councils (Fischer, 1999). Although headed by titular tribal chiefs, these early Turks enjoyed a rough form of representative democracy. For instance, Fischer reports that, "Supreme power rested...


281). This legal system was required because the nascent national Turkish legal system was inadequate for adjudicating matters in the far-flung regions of the country. In this regard, Fischer adds that, "Since the inefficient Turkish legal system provided no protection of any sort, and since tribes had common land, pastures, forest, and water rights, these councils were responsible for administrating civil, criminal and family law and were required to impose both legal and moral sanctions" (1999, p. 281).

By the mid-19th century, the Turkish legal system was largely modeled on Islamic shari'a law (Hanilogu, 2011). By the early 1920s, however, the country was consolidated under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal who later took the name "Ataturk" ("Father of the Turks") who implemented sweeping reforms to modernize and secularize the country's legal, political, economic and social systems (Turkey, 2016). For example, Hanilogu (2011) reports that, "In 1924, the Shar?'a Courts were abolished, and the legal [system] that had prevailed especially since 1864 came to an end" (p. 157). In addition, Turkey adopted a modified version of the 1912 Swiss Civil Code and the 1881 Swiss Code of Obligations in 1926 which completed the secularization of the Turkish legal system (Hanilogu, 2011). In this regard, Hanilogu notes that, "By 1930, the entire legal system had been stripped of any religious references and resembled that of secular Western European countries" (2011, p. 157).

Over the course of the next half century, though, Turkey would experience numerous political upheavals…

Sources Used in Documents:


Basedow, J. (2011, January 1). The Europeanisation of contract law and its significance for Asia. Asia Pacific Law Review, 19(1), 53-59.

Fischer, B. J (1999, Fall). Albanian highland tribal society and family structure in the process of twentieth century transformation. East European Quarterly, 33(3), 281.

Hanioglu, M. S. (2011). Ataturk: An intellectual biography. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Turkey. (2016). CIA world factbook. Retrieved from / publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tu.html.
Turkey government. (2016). CIA world factbook. Retrieved from / publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tu.html.

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