Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Category: Turkey

  • Turkey Update: Presidentialism in the Works?

    Turkey is officially beginning the process of drafting a new constitution. The Constitutional Conciliation Commission, formed in the aftermath of the June 2011 elections, is planning to present a final draft by the end of 2012. This week, sub-committees will begin drafting individual articles, starting with general rights and freedoms.

  • Turkey Readying New Constitution

    Turkey’s current constitution is a product of military coup (1980-1983). It was ratified by popular referendum (91% approval) in 1982 and has been amended by 17 times since then with changes to 113 articles. The last modification took place in September 2010 through a popular referendum (with 58% approval), yet the demand to replace the military government’s legacy has not eased.

  • Electoral Politics and Turkey’s New Constitution

    On Sunday, June 12, 2011, Turkish voters headed to the ballot boxes to cast their votes in parliamentary elections. According to preliminary results, the incumbent Islamist-leaning Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (AKP) (Justice and Development Party) comfortably won a third consecutive term in office, obtaining 49.9% of the popular vote and 326 of the 550 seats in the Parliament.

  • Further Changes Proposed to the Turkish Constitutional Court

    Late last year, in September 2010, Turkish voters approved by 58% of the vote a set of constitutional amendments, which included a court-packing plan that expanded the size of the Turkish Constitutional Court from eleven to seventeen seats (which I discussed here).

  • EU says Turkish reforms aren’t enough

    In these pages, Ozan Varol posted a nice overview of the Turkish constitutional amendments in September. Varol had noted that the otherwise democratic reforms could potentially do some real damage to the independence of the judiciary. According to a story in Today’s Zaman, an English-language paper published in Turkey, help may be on the way.

  • Turkey’s New Majoritarian Difficulty

    On September 12, 1980, the Turkish Armed Forces took control of the Turkish government in a bloody coup d’état. Exactly thirty years from that date, on September 12, 2010, Turkish voters approved by 58% of the vote a package of twenty-six amendments to the 1982 Constitution, which was ratified following the coup.

  • Turkey’s reforms

    I’d be very interested to learn more from any readers in Turkey about the passage of the constitutional amendments in yesterday’s referendum. My thumbnail view is that Turkey was ahead of the game in 1982 when it adopted a “post-political” constitution, in which democratic institutions were constrained by a series of guardian institutions, including the constitutional court, the national security council, the higher education council, and, until the accession of Abdullah Gul, the presidency.

  • Constitutional amendment proposals in Turkey

    Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)has submitted a new version of their proposed Constitutional amendments to the Grand National Assembly. The draft differs only slightly in substance from the previous version that the party submitted. One of the new additions is a proposal to alter Article 157 of the Constitution to provide judicial immunity to judges of the Military Supreme Administrative Court would have judicial immunity.

  • The ECtHR rules on Greek-Cypriots’ Right of Return; the ECJ rules on the Economic Treaty Status of Jewish Settlements

    Two important rulings from Europe reinforce the increasing significance of supra-national quasi-constitutional regimes in dealing with international political hot potatoes. In a landmark ruling the ECtHR held last week (Demopoulos et al. v. Turkey)that Greek refugees who had fled northern Cyprus during the Turkish invasion in 1974 do not have an automatic, unqualified right of return to their ancestral land.

  • Turkish court ruling

    Jurist reports that Turkey’s constitutional court has over-turned a law allowing for civilian prosecution of military personnel in civilian courts. The report describes the law as being a barrier to EU accession, but the real politics are likely domestic: the law was promulgated in part to facilitate investigation of military officials and others who were involved in the alleged plot against the ruling Justice and Development Party.