The 1982 constitution remains in force today, albeit in a slightly altered form. It defines the role or the State, the powers of the Parliament and Government, the juridical checks and balances, the rights or the individual, the responsibility of the state in the protection of human rights and the basic principles guiding the action of the legislative, executive and judicial organs.
Elections in Turkey are held every five years. The Parliament, known as the Grand National Assembly, has 550 members. Turkey's constitutional system is one or a unitary state. The country is divided into 81 provinces. The governors in each province represent the state and are responsible for security, public order and the supervision of government services such as education and health.
The local government components in this system are the municipalities which are elected offices. Turkey has witnessed great changes in its political, economic and social life since 1983.
The economy has been liberalised, foreign exchange restrictions lined import and export procedures simplifed.
Foreign investment laws have been modified to encourage the flow of capital into the country the private sector has been supported and a programme initiated to privatise state enterprises.
The consequence of these policies and the reform procto fulfill the European Union criteria has been substantial and visible transformation or the country.
The Customs Union agreement that came into force on 1 January 1996 linked the EU and Turkey. The EU Helsinki summit in December 1999 gave Turkey the candidate country status. On 29 July 2005, Turkeysigned the additional protocol extending her customs union with the EU to cover 10 new member states. 3 October 2005 was the landmark in the relationship between the European Union and Turkey: Turkey is now a negotiating country and not just a candidate country. T urkey today is a country that engages in extensive democratization with a dynamic population, a growing and vocal civil society, a qualified labour force and a remarkable intelligentsia. Government elections are held every five years in Turkey,during which the whole country, including every town, street and comer is filled with party banners and posters. Turkish elections are a festivity of open-air meetings, coffee-house propaganda, and multi-media efforts.
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