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 ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and its chairperson, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, have completed their 18th year in government. It is an exceptionally long period for continuous rule by a single-party government in electoral political systems.

Bu Konuda Daha Fazla

  • Turkey’s political parties are currently preoccupied with the proposed regulation of social media platforms, the legal status of Hagia Sophia, the parliamentary bill on multiple bar associations, the Istanbul Convention, the LGBT and Generation Z debates and the declining performance of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. In addition to those hot topics, there are also two permanent features: early elections and potential shifts between electoral alliances.

  • Recent remarks by Good Party Chairwoman Meral Akşener about the links between the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and the PKK terrorist organization has sparked fresh controversy about the future of electoral alliances in Turkish politics. Recalling the HDP’s inability to distance itself from terrorists, she carved herself out some room to maneuver and revived questions about the possibility of a third electoral alliance emerging in the future.

  • With allegations of a coup d’etat in the making and claims of an early election in the works, there is increased activity in Turkey’s national political arena, as rumors circulate around competing electoral alliances.

  • While different factions within the main opposition continue to blame one another for once again emerging intra-party crisis, experts say point to a power struggle as the main cause of the problem in the Republican People's Party (CHP)

  • There were too many controversial issues on the table in President Erdoğan’s recent visit to Washington and the meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. Washington's continuing support for the People's Protection Units (YPG); the S-400 missiles; the situation with the F-35 fighter jets; Washington’s policy on the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and other sanction bills against Turkey are urgent issues for Turkey that need to be tackled constructively by the American authorities. Only a reset in Turkish-American relations can assure a significant change, but the circumstances are not conducive to a reset. For the moment the Democratic Union Party (PYD) issue seems to be the biggest problem leading to constant tensions between the two countries.