Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

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.

The EU is pushing for Turkey to wipe the constitutional slate clean. Leveraging the possibility of EU accession, members of the EU parliament have proposed a resolution that would urge Turkey to replace its constitution with one that protects religious and cultural rights better and more firmly establishes civilian control over the military.

The draft resolution cites the “pressing need for an overall constitutional reform transforming Turkey into a full-fledged democracy, with the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms at its core.”

We’ll have to keep an eye on this. Among other things, the resolution presents an interesting test of the power of EU conditionality.


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