Democratization and the Politics of Constitution-Making in Turkey

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Publication date: 
156 pages

Explores and illustrates how domestic and international factors shape the direction of democratization process with special reference to constitution making process in Turkey. Describes how all five Turkish constitutions were, by and large, the products of indigenous effort, although borrowing could be felt in certain limited areas. Argues that the constitutional reforms in the post-1983 period were the outco me of broad inter-party negotiations and agree ments as a response to the society’s demands for a more democratic and liberal political system. Finally, the constitutional revisions adopted since 1995 were strongly conditioned by Turkey’s hope of accession to the European Union. With these reforms, Turkey was successful in meeting the political criteria and started accession negotiations with the EU.

The authors also analyze the latest rounds of debate on the draft for an entirely new constitution prepared by the present governing moderate religious party, which is committed to joining the European Union.

Chapter 1. The History of Constitution-Making in Turkey
Chapter 2. Initial Changes, 1987–1995
Chapter 3. Constitutional Amendments under EU Conditionality 1998–2006
Chapter 4. Harmonization Packages and Other Legislative Reforms
Chapter 5. EU Conditionality and Democratization Process in Turkey
Chapter 6. The Constitutional Crisis of 2007–2008 and the Search for a New Constitution

Appendix 1. Checklist on the Status of Legislative Changes in the Political Criteria Section of the 2001 and 2003 National Program for the Adoption of the Acquis
Appendix 2. Laws Adopted by the EU Harmonization Packages

"A significant analysis of the origin, policies, and impacts of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Özbudun and Hale's arguments about secularism and the military are the most remarkable of several important points they develop. The authors successfully explore the dynamics of constitution writing and amending in Turkish political history. Özbudun and Genckaya ephasize the need for further substantial amendments, if not an entirely new Constitution, as part of Turkey's democractization process."