Turkey is a republic, governed under a constitution approved in 1982, which replaced the previous constitution of 1961. The adoption of a new constitution followed a two-year period in which the country was governed by the National Security Council, a five-member body of military officers.

The constitution provides for a parliamentary form of government, consisting of a president, a prime minister who heads the Cabinet, and a legislature, the National Assembly. The National Assembly is elected by the people for a 5-year term.

The president, who is elected by the National Assembly for seven years, is head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces and has wide executive powers. The president appoints the prime minister from among the members of the National Assembly. The prime minister leads the Council of Ministers, or Cabinet, and heads the day-to-day activities of the government.

Turkey is divided into 80 provinces. Each has a governor appointed by the president and an elected council.