A member of NATO, the United Nations and the Council of Europe, Turkey is a constitutional democratic republic that has recently been experiencing the benefits of a growing economy and strong initiatives in diplomatic reform. Now considered a notable regional power in Europe, Turkey's traditional secularism and consistent emphasis on progressively developing as a peaceful country neighboring less stabilized areas of Europe has made it a popular destination for students seeking a degree in law.
Turkey's President is considered the Head of State and is elected by parliament every seven years. However, it is the Council of Ministers and the Prime Minister who exercise executive power. Alternately, legislative power is given to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, a unicameral parliament playing a vital role in Turkey's government.
Turkey's Legal System
Completely integrated with the legal system followed by continental Europe, Turkey's law system is a combination of the German Commercial Code, the Swiss Civil Code and the Code of Obligations. In addition, Turkey's administrative law is comparable to that of France while its penal code resembles Italy's criminal law codes. However, one major difference between Turkey and other countries regards the development of jury trials. In Turkey, trial outcomes are not decided by juries but are decided by one, two or three judges presiding over the trial.
Study Law in Turkey
Obtaining a Law Degree in Turkey
Students earning a Turkish law degree can expect to spend four years in undergraduate studies (Bachelor of Law or LLB) and two years in graduate school (LLM). Following successful completion of studies and one year of training at a law firm or other entity involved in legal work, students can be admitted to the bar without passing an examination.
The Turkish word for lawyer or solicitor is "hukukçu" or "avukat". Prosecuting and defense lawyers present cases solely to civil, administrative or criminal judges, who base decisions on personal convictions tempered by Turkish law. Judges are generally law school graduates who have practiced law for many years and have been elected to preside over general, judicial and criminal courts. There are no separate states in Turkey so it does not have a federal court system. Instead, all Turkish cities are guided by the same system of laws that is based predominantly on civil law.
State-run universities have lower tuition fees than private universities. Universities that offer undergraduate courses in English charge between $500 and $1500 USD for international students. Non-Turkish students opting for courses taught in Turkish will pay less--between $300 and $800 USD. As with all graduate programs in most countries where tuition fees are mandatory, Turkish and non-Turkish students can expect to pay at least $500+ more to take master's and doctorate courses. Students from Turkic countries or republics such as Bosnia, Macedonia, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are considered to be Turkish nationals and pay fees according to their citizenship. Once again, fees may vary from one institution to the other.