The unavoidable constitution debate in Turkey

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is committed to a “new and civilian” constitution. In a recent …
  • Muharrem Ince, who was the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate in 2018, resigned on Feb. 8, following in the footsteps of three other parliamentarians. His critique of the CHP leadership was strongly worded and comprehensive.
  • President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan created the framework for the 2023 elections by calling for a new and civilian constitution. The need for a civilian constitution dates back to the adoption of the 1982 Constitution, an embodiment of the authoritarianism of coup leaders, hence, the frequent discussions on constitutional reform over the last 39 years – and 19 constitutional amendments. Yet Turkey still has not managed to talk about its political problems at the constitutional level.
  • The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) made headlines again, as three parliamentarians resigned and Muharrem Ince, the CHP’s presidential candidate in the 2018 election, is preparing to launch his own movement. CHP Deputy Özgür Özel, the minority whip, blamed these developments on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but the problem is more complex and deeply rooted. CHP Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s policy of stripping his party of ideology and identity, in an attempt to unite the opposition, appears to have hit a dead end.

Bu Konuda Daha Fazla

  • Leaders of Turkey’s major political parties are meeting more frequently, as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's "alliance" talks with the Felicity Party (SP) reinvigorated the opposition. There is an effort underway to keep relations warm between the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Good Party (IP), the SP, the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA) and the Future Party (GP) over proposals of an “augmented parliamentary system.”

  • Once again, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, started a new debate over early elections. This time around, he urged Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairperson Devlet Bahçeli, whose movement is part of the pro-government People’s Alliance, to say “enough is enough” and lead the country to elections. Kılıçdaroğlu’s message was an obvious, yet timid, response to Bahçeli’s earlier call on the Good Party’s (IP) Meral Akşener to return home. Former Finance Minister Ali Babacan, who currently chairs the Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA), echoed the same sentiment, in a meeting with Kılıçdaroğlu and claimed that Turkey’s current system of government would not last until June 2023.

  • Western media’s opposition to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is possibly the world’s worst kept secret. Western commentators immediately jump to conclusions about the supposedly expansionist goals of Erdoğan’s Turkey whenever Ankara launches a fresh foreign policy initiative. Experts in Washington, Paris, Athens, Abu Dhabi and elsewhere make the same arguments in an attempt to contain Turkey’s influence to an unbearable extent. At the heart of those comments lies the claim that the Turkish president has isolated his country in the international arena, which will lead the nation to a disaster and that the Turkish people deserve better.

  • Greece continues to escalate tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean amid calls from the European Union for dialogue. In addition to conducting military exercises, Athens deployed troops to the island of Kastellorizo (Megisti-Meis) and is preparing to conclude an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) agreement with the Greek Cypriots – similar to Athens' controversial deal with Egypt. Last but not least, Greek leaders fueled tensions last week by talking about extending their claims in the Ionian Sea to 12 nautical miles.

  • The Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has been claiming for weeks that the Turkish government intended to “incite street protests in order to declare a state of emergency.”