Grand National Assembly of Turkey/ANKARA


As is known, 2020 marks the centenary of the inauguration of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (TBMM). This anniversary, which is of utmost importance for the institutionalization of national sovereignty in Turkey, will be commemorated through comprehensive events held by TBMM. One of the major events planned in this context is the international symposium entitled “‘The National Sovereignty and Representation’ on the Centenary of the Inauguration of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey”.

Parliaments are where the relatedness between the concepts of sovereignty and national manifests itself in the most concrete way and in all its dimensions. These institutions, which are the manifestation of national sovereignty, have been formed as a result of long-lasting and far-reaching political and social struggles throughout ancient human history and gained a universal quality as places where individual and collective will are represented simultaneously. The concept of parliament, which, by its very nature and definition, corresponds to a globally approved fact, appear with various names and in various forms on the basis of several interpretations which define the standards that the assigned roles and functions of a parliament fulfil or must fulfil in line with the preferences, priorities and needs of the local context out of which a parliament arises.

Parliament, one of the basic institutions of modern democracies, is known to have a rich and long-established historical background in the context of the Turkish political tradition.

With a history of nearly two hundred years, the culture of democracy and political representation in the Turkish political tradition is more deep-rooted compared to most countries worldwide. Debates on representation and parliament started in the 1860s and led to the promulgation of the Constitution in 1876 and the first elected parliament called Chamber of Deputies (Meclisi Mebusan) was established in 1877. The assembly, which closed after World War I and the occupation of Istanbul, was reopened on 23 April 1920 under the name of the Grand National Assembly to carry out the struggle for independence. TBMM holds an extremely distinct value within this impressive history of democracy and representation. TBMM led the struggle for independence, undertook the role of a constituent assembly, triumphantly combined the functions of full sovereignty, independence and the establishment of a new state, and set one of the most beautiful examples of political representation throughout this process; however, TBMM is an underresearched institution in spite of these characteristics. The impressive history of the parliament provides an important opportunity for scholars to understand representation, sovereignty, legislative and political systems.

April 23, 2020 will mark the centenary of the founding of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM). Throughout its centuries-old history, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) has been the most important institution of Turkish political life and has served as the stronghold of democracy at different times. Faced with 4 different constitutions, various political regimes and many coups in this century-old period, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), despite all the difficulties, has remained an indispensable institution of Turkish political life.

To understand and celebrate this impressive heritage, an international symposium entitled “The National Sovereignty and Representation on the Centenary of the Inauguration of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey” will be held in Ankara in cooperation with Turkish Grand National Assembly and Ankara Hacı Bayram Veli University. The symposium aims to bring together the leading scientists from different disciplines such as political science, law, international relations, economics, sociology and history, to create an academic platform where new academic approaches are discussed in the light of contemporary developments in the field of sovereignty and representation, based on the perspectives of different disciplines and different country experiences and to introduce new expansions on the subject.

One of the important aims of this symposium is to bring together local and foreign scientists and make the Turkish Grand National Assembly one of the major focuses of comparative Parliamentary Studies. The symposium will allow scientists working with different approaches and methods to engage in productive interactions, and extend the concept of representation beyond western-centred paradigms and will provide the basis for contributing to comparative parliamentary work by centring TBMM and the concepts of representation, sovereignty and democracy in Turkey. Accordingly, the Symposium aims to present a scientific representation of the related developments in our country by focusing on the debates on global and local “democracy deficit”, which directly concerns national sovereignty and representation.

In the selection of papers to be presented in the symposium, studies that will shed light on the centenarian history of the Turkish Grand National Assembly will also be included. The main objective in this symposium is to include the Turkish Grand National Assembly particularly as an important field of study and the studies qualified in terms of content and method which will enable us to understand the concepts of representation and democracy in a better way. Papers to be submitted to the symposium must not have been submitted or published elsewhere before.

Some headings under which papers are planned to be presented in the symposium are listed below. Subjects are not limited to these headings. On the condition that the general framework of the symposium and the subject matter is followed, papers may also be presented under different headings. 


The concepts of sovereignty and representation

  • The concepts of sovereignty and representation from a political perspective (different country examples)
  • The concepts of sovereignty and representation from a historical perspective (different country examples)
  • The concepts of sovereignty and representation from a legal perspective (different country examples)

Election Systems and Democracy

  • National Assembly Structure, Activities, Debates
  • Political parties (Single-party and Multi-party periods)

Representation, parliamentary behaviour and democracy

  • Political parties in Turkey and their place in the history of democracy
  • Intra-party democracy
  • Leaders
  • Comparative representation bodies,
  • Parliamentary questions
  • Parliamentary behaviour
  • Party change and representation
  • Party systems
  • The European Parliament,
  • Comparative legislative activities
  • Representation of Minorities
  • Sovereignty and representation in the global age
  • Sovereignty and representation in the digital age
  • Sovereignty and representation in Postmodern periods
  • Presidential system and sovereignty concept
  • International organizations and national sovereignty

History of Parliament in Turkey

  • Representation, parliament and council in the Turkish state tradition,
  • Ottoman Experience in Turkish Parliamentary Tradition
  • The Role of the Grand National Assembly in the National Struggle
  • Duties and functions of Parliament in our constitutional tradition
  • The role of the Turkish Grand National Assembly in the Turkish democratic tradition



Application and abstract

Papers must not have been submitted or published elsewhere before. Papers can be submitted and presented in Turkish and English. Presentations at the symposium are limited to 20 minutes.

The venue of the Symposium

 ‘International Symposium on ‘the National Sovereignty and Representation’ on the Centenary of the Inauguration of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey’ will take place at the Turkish Grand National Assembly in Ankara.

Important Notes

  • Who can participate: Scientists from various disciplines related to the subject as well as students, journalists, politicians, bureaucrats and other listeners who are interested in the subject can participate in this Congress.
  • Participation Fee: Participation in the Congress is free of charge.
  • Transportation and Accommodation: The accommodation of the academics and researchers whose papers were accepted to be presented will be covered by the symposium organization. The transportation and accommodation fees of other participants will be covered by themselves. Further details about the symposium and options for accommodation and transportation will be announced on the Congress’ website on a further date.
Due to recent developments regarding COVID-19, the Symposium dates, accommodations and methods have been changed. Please follow our announcements from