Ottoman parliamentary procedure in the Chamber of Deputies (Meclis-i Mebusan) and the Great National Assembly of Turkey (Türkiye Büyük Millet Meclisi), 1876–1923

Faculty/Professorship: Turkish Studies  
Author(s): Morack, Ellinor  
Title of the compilation: Planting Parliaments in Eurasia, 1850–1950 : Concepts, Practices, and Mythologies
Editors: Sablin, Ivan; Bandeira, Egas Moniz
Publisher Information: London : Routledge
Year of publication: 2021
Pages: 220-255
ISBN: 9781003158608
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.4324/9781003158608
In this chapter, I trace the theory and practice of Ottoman and Turkish parliamentary procedure by focusing on the history of the parliaments’ internal regulations (Nizamname-i Dahiliye). The internal regulations of the Ottoman lower chamber (Meclis-i Mebusan) (in sessions 1876–1878 and 1908–1920) were inherited by the Great National Assembly of Turkey (1920–), which only replaced them with a new set of regulations in 1927. I trace such cases of rule violation and contextualize them in the broader context of Ottoman and Turkish political and parliamentary history. I also discuss the various changes made, showing how they reflect the struggles between parliaments and other constitutional powers.

An increase in parliamentary powers was usually followed by serious conflicts with the executive, which would then drastically curb the chamberʼs de facto competences. Initially, violations of the internal rules were mostly committed by other constitutional institutions, such as the sultan and the sultanic governments. During the period of transformation from empire to nation-state, however, the deputiesʼ faithfulness with the internal regulations decreased massively. I argue that these violations can be explained as results of two diverging yet parallel trends: the first was a drive towards a de jure strengthening of parliament vis-à-vis other constitutional institutions. The second may be described as the de facto prevailing of an authoritarian spirit in the guise of parliamentarism.
GND Keywords: Osmanisches Reich / Parlament ; Verhaltenskodex ; Geschichte 1876-1923
Keywords: Parliamentarism, Ottoman History, Turkish History, Legal History, Parliamentary Procedure
DDC Classification: 960 History of Africa  
RVK Classification: EH 5330     MH 62500     NP 6450   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Type: Contribution to an Articlecollection
Release Date: 6. April 2021