CHP’s tough reality in Turkey

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Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu fuels his effort to unite …

Bu Konuda Daha Fazla

  • As PM Erdoğan emerged as a front runner in the upcoming presidential race in August 2014, opposition parties continue to resist any meaningful debate about the country's political system.

  • In the years after the AKP came to power in November 2002, however, an active struggle against the military-bureaucratic grip on politics led to the eradication of the old regime and a gradual democratisation of the political system.

  • The votes to the Alliance for Employment, Prosperity and Integration led by the Democratic Party (DP) of Albania remaining around 40 percent mean that the 2-term PD ruling is soon to end in the country.

  • Turkish politics is currently undergoing a heated political debate on the constitutional reform package (supported by Prime Minister Erdogan's ruling party), which is on its way to a referendum this Sunday. The package includes amendments to 26 articles of the current constitution along. In addition, it would eliminate the controversial Article 15, a ‘temporary' article that has been in the constitution since the 1980's, preventing the prosecution of officials involved in the military coup of 1980. All in all, Sunday's referendum is one of the ruling AK Party's clearest challenges thus far to Turkey's Kemalist establishment. Since the establishment of the Turkish Republic, four new constitutions have been adopted (1921, 1924, 1961, 1982) - the latest two were drafted after military interventions - and numerous amendments have been made. Since the most recent constitution was adopted in 1982, there have been 15 amendment packages, which have affected almost half of the constitution. As such, the debate on the present constitution is not exactly a new one for Turkey, as the public is quite accustomed to constitutional changes and the public debate they generate. To understand, then, why the current package has touched off such a firestorm in Turkish society and led to an intensified political atmosphere, it is important to consider both the ramifications that the current reform efforts has for the political system in Turkey and the historical context.