Sura-yi Devlet was the consultative assembly of the Ottoman government formed in the Period of Reformation (Tanzimat Devri).The drafts of laws, regulations and judicial administrations were prepared by this council. It is the base of today’s Supreme Council (Danistay).

Council of the state which was in a position of a national assembly was formally opened, on 10th May 1869 and functioned under  the chairmanship of Mithat Pasha, with 41 members. 28 of the members were Moslems and 13 of them were from different religions.

The functions of Council of State were:

1) Preparing and examining the drafted laws and regulations in every subject.

2) Discussing and adjudicating the administrative problems sent by the government.

3) Determining the highest authority of the conflicts between administration and judicial authorities.

4) To interpret and explain the problems in the laws and regulations.

5) To judge the civil officers who found guilty by the Sultan or the government.

6) Examining and preparing solutions to the administrative problems of the sultan and the ministers.

The chief, the head of the departments and the first secretary of the council were appointed by the sultan. General Committee was assembled annually and prepared the council’s budget and made an annual work plan. The decisions were made by concealed votes.

On 15th February 1872, Sura-yi Devlet was reorganised and divided into three departments as; Tanzimat (reformation), Muhakemat (judicial affairs), and Dahiliye (internal affairs). By this way the head of state council promoted to minister rank and became a member of Meclis-i vukela (Parliament). The judicial functions of State Council were abolished by the constitution in 1876, and it continued its functions as Supreme Council after the declaration of the republic.


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