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Democratization and the Politics of Constitution-Making in Turkey

By Ergun Özbudun, Ömer F. Genckaya

Publication Year: 2009

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.

Published by: Central European University Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. 1-6

Constitution-making, particularly during democratic transitions, is an excellent opportunity to build political institutions that will enjoy broad support from society and its political (and other) elites. Both the constitution-making process and its outcome (i.e., constitutional...

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1. The History of Constitution-Making in Turkey

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pp. 7-30

As indicated above, the beginnings of constitutionalism in the Ottoman Empire can be traced back to the nineteenth century.1 The first constitutional document of dubious legal value was the Deed of Alliance (Sened-i İttifak) signed in 1808 between the representatives of local...

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2. Initial Changes, 1987–1995

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pp. 31-42

The 1982 Constitution—written under the aegis of the military, excluding all political parties and other institutions of civil society, and approved by a highly dubious referendum—became a matter of public debate and contention almost from the moment of its adoption...

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3. Constitutional Amendments under EU Conditionality 1998-2006

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pp. 43-72

Having a democratic political system that respects fundamental human rights has always been one of the most important prerequisites to become a full member of the EU. Since the Birkelbach Report (1962) of the Political Committee of the European Parliament, which specified...

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4. Harmonization Packages and Other Legislative Reforms

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pp. 73-80

Between February 2002 and July 2004, the GNAT adopted Nine “harmonization packages,” not counting other major legislative reforms such as the adoption of a new Civil Code, the Criminal Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Law on Associations...

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5. EU Conditionality and Democratization Process in Turkey

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pp. 81-96

In the nineteenth century, the basic conceptualizing of the Turks concerning state, society, nature, and human beings radically changed. The Ottoman statesmen and intelligentsia recognized the European supremacy in every field of life, and the Turkish avocation of Europeanization/Westernization...

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6. The Constitutional Crisis of 2007–2008 and the Search for a New Constitution: The Constitutional Crisis over the Presidency and the Constitutional Amendments of 2007

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pp. 97-112

The search for an entirely new constitution was triggered by the constitutional crisis in the spring of 2007 over the question of the presidency. At the end of Prezident Sezer’s term of office, the governing JDP seemed to have enough votes in the parliament to elect its own...

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pp. 113-116

An important aspect of democratic consolidation is the emergence of a widely shared consensus over constitutional norms, i.e., the rules of the game. Thus, argue Linz and Stepan, “constitutionally, a democratic regime is consolidated when governmental and nongovernmental...

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

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pp. 117-127

Appendix 2. Laws Adopted by the EU Harmonization Packages

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pp. 128-134


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pp. 135-142


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pp. 143-147

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9786155211690
Print-ISBN-13: 9789639776302

Page Count: 157
Publication Year: 2009