1982 Turkish constitutional referendum


In 1980 the Grand National Assembly was scheduled to elect a new President to replace Fahri Korutürk. However, the parties were unable to agree on a candidate, and on 12 September 1980, the Turkish Armed Forces led by Kenan Evren staged a coup d'état, dissolved the Grand National Assembly and started ruling the country through the National Security Council.

The NSC set up a Consultative Assembly and appointed all 160 members. Political parties were shut down, and those who had been members of parties were excluded from the Assembly.[2] It worked from 23 November 1981 and 17 July 1982 to draw up the new constitution,[3] which would replace the 1961 document.

New constitution

One of the transitional provisions of the constitution named Evren as President until 1989.[4] The constitution also banned civil society organisations from political activity, whilst political parties were banned from working with civil society organisations, including trade unions.[2] The Army was given a majority in the National Security Council, which was also deemed to be superior to the cabinet.[2]

Evren claimed the new constitution had liberties "luxurious" for Turkey.[5]


Choice Votes %
Yes 17,215,559 91.4
No 1,626,431 8.6
Valid votes 18,841,990 99.8
Invalid or blank votes 43,498 0.2
Total votes 18,885,488 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 20,690,914 91.3
Source: Nohlen et al


  1. Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume I, p254 ISBN 0-19-924958-X
  2. Ergun Özbudun (2012) Turkey’s Search for a New Constitution Archived 2016-03-03 at the Wayback Machine Insight Turkey, Vol 14, pp39-50
  3. Turkey, 7 November 1982: Constitution Direct Democracy
  4. Gökçer Tahincioğlu, Türker Karapınar (2012-04-02). "Darbe İktidarı 32 yıl sonra sanık sandalyesinde". Milliyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2013-07-15.
  5. Güçlü, Abbas (2003-09-25). "61 Anayasası Türkiye'ye büyük geldi". Milliyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2008-07-05.
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