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By Ergun Özbudun

Explores and illustrates how family and foreign elements form the course of democratization approach with particular connection with the structure making approach within the Turkish context.

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Additional resources for Democratization and the Politics of Constitution Making in Turkey

Example text

The constitutional amendments of 2001 and the following reforms have eliminated some of their constitutional privileges, as will be spelled out below. These reforms do not reflect, however, a parallel decrease in the de facto political weight of the military. The significant role of the military in Turkish politics is due partly to historico-political factors, and partly to the two challenges discussed above. As regards the former, the military played a very significant role in the founding of the Republic and have since then been the staunchest defenders of the Kemalist legacy, most importantly his principles of a united, secular, nation-state.

89, Session 127, 22 June 1995, 317. 12 Ecevit’s remarks on the impasse are pertinent: “A very important duty falls upon the GNAT. If the GNAT had been able to realize at least some of the democratizing changes expected by the society—and there is still this chance—it would have gained great respect and proved the maturity 1 42 Democratization and the Politics of Constitution-Making in Turkey of Turkish democracy. But unfortunately, constitutional debates seem to be at an impasse now. The GNAT is facing the danger of falling prey to itself, not to outside pressures and threats … The truth is that the TPP, the RPP, and the MP got involved in an obstinate fight, losing sight of the fact that this was a regime issue.

The 1995 constitutional amendments fell far short of popular expectations. Although during the Assembly debates all party spokespersons saw this as a historical opportunity to allow a freely elected civilian parliament to make major democratizing changes to the constitution, the end result did not live up to this hope. The amendments related mostly to the political participation dimension of the Constitution and were useful in that regard, but they brought about no improvements in the rule of law and protection of fundamental rights and liberties.

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