Turkey’s draft constitutional amendments: a critical perspective

Öztürk, Ahmet Erdi and Gozaydin, Istar (2017) Turkey’s draft constitutional amendments: a critical perspective. Research and Policy on Turkey, 2 (2). pp. 210-224. ISSN 2376-0818


Although Turkey has largely maintained the constitutional tradition inherited from the Ottomans, and has been ruled by the parliamentary system since its establishment, in 1923, the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi-AKP), which is one of the most controversial political structures in Turkish political history, has changed the accustomed system into a Turkish type of presidential one. Furthermore, this important decision was taken in a plebiscite held under state of emergency conditions, after the failed coup attempt and in an authoritarian political atmosphere that has been gradually increasing for more than half a decade. In this regard, this article explains two major points; the constitutional history of contemporary Turkey with its Ottoman background, and the AKP’s political journey that is a swing from hope to oppression. Yet, additionally, the article clarifies the minuteae of the amended constitution which are related to human rights and liberties. Lastly, it argues that the proposed constitution will neither reveal a new system, nor will it constitute a democratic socio-political environment and an advanced human rights constitution.

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