politics : culture : economics

The trouble with Turkish constitution-making

In Constitution on August 2, 2010 at 4:48 pm

On Sunday I had an article in Today’s Zaman looking at September’s constitutional referendum in the context of Turkey’s troubled history of constitution-making. I point to a encouraging decade of liberalisation between 1995 and 2004, but argue that since the eruption of a number of constitutional crises in 2007 and 2008, the prospects for a consensual approach to constitution-making have been looking increasingly bleak.

From the article:

This isn’t about the specifics of September’s referendum (depending on your politics, a vote in either direction is a grave threat to democracy). It’s a more basic point about the conditions needed to create and sustain a stable constitution. Call it trust, call it cohesion, call it social capital — whatever you call it, Turkey doesn’t have enough of it.

The rumbling controversy over the government’s package of constitutional amendments is part of a process that goes back to the foundation of the republic. In nearly nine decades, the country has failed to find a constitutional settlement that could be described as stable. Just as importantly, and not unrelatedly, nor has it fully settled on satisfactory procedures for negotiating and deciding on changes to the constitutional framework.

Click here for the full article: The trouble with Turkish constitution-making

  1. As I already let you know, this is an excellent piece. I only avoid Today’s Zaman these days..))

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