September 12, 2010 / 7:51 PM / 7 years ago

Factbox: Turkey's constitutional amendments

(Reuters) - Turkish voters on Sunday approved constitutional reforms that the government says will strengthen the Muslim nation’s democracy and help its candidacy for the European Union.

Here are details of the amendments to the articles of the constitution that the government will now enact:

* Article 10: Equality before the law

This would be amended to say that measures favoring children, the elderly, the disabled, widows and orphans of martyrs and veterans do not violate the principle of equality.

* Article 20: Right to privacy

The changes would protect individuals’ personal information. Such information could only be obtained with an individual’s permission or in certain legal circumstances.

* Article 23: Freedom of movement

The changes say the right to travel abroad may be restricted only during ongoing criminal probes and upon a judge’s order.

* Article 41: Children’s rights

The article would contain the following sentences: ”Every child has the right to adequate protection and care and the right to have and maintain a personal and direct relationship with his or her parents unless the relationship is explicitly contrary to his or her best interests.

“The State shall take measures to protect the child against all forms of abuse and violence.”

* Article 51: Right to organize labor

The amendment would repeal a clause that bars membership in more than one labor union.

* Article 74: Right to petition

The amended version allows individuals to file complaints and requests for information to a government-appointed ombudsman.

* Article 84: Loss of membership in parliament

The changes would end the practice of expelling members of parliament whose actions were cited by a court as grounds to ban a political party.

* Article 94: Administration of parliament

The amendment would change the length of the parliamentary speaker’s term in office.

* Article 125: Recourse to judicial review

A new version would allow soldiers discharged by a Supreme Military Council decision to appeal against such decisions.

* Articles 128, 129: Public service

The articles would include giving civil servants the right to collective contracts and to appeal disciplinary action.

* Article 144: Inspection of judicial services

The proposed amendment requires Justice Ministry reviews of prosecutors to be conducted by judicial inspectors and internal auditors, who must be judges or prosecutors themselves.

* Articles 145, 156, 157: Military justice

Crimes against state security and the constitutional order allegedly committed by military personnel would not be tried in military courts but in civilian courts. Civilians shall not be tried in military courts.

* Articles 146, 147, 148, 149: Constitutional Court

The changes would overhaul the top court to consist of 17 justices, instead of the current 11, each chosen for a 12-year term. They face mandatory retirement at age 65.

Parliament, the president and the Higher Education Council would nominate judges to the court, which will function as two chambers and a General Assembly. The assembly would be empowered to try party-closure cases, as well as prime ministers and other cabinet members. Individuals may appeal directly to the court.

Top generals will be tried for offences related to their duties by the Constitutional Court, acting as the Supreme Court.

* Article 159: Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors

The amended article would change the format of the council and the way its members are selected. It creates 22 regular and 12 substitute members on the board.

* Article 166: Economic planning

The change in the article would establish the Economic and Social Council as a constitutional institution.

* Provisional Article 15:

The package would repeal the article barring prosecution of members of the National Security Council and technocrats who had legislative and executive power following a 1980 military coup.

Compiled by Ayla Jean Yackley, Editing by Ayse Sarioglu and Kevin Liffey

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