Constitutional Reform: A Change Turkey's Parties Can Believe In

MIN READAug 26, 2016 | 09:15 GMT

Turkey has a long history of political conflict involving the military. But following an attempted military coup against him, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is more resolved than ever to end the trend in his favor.

(ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Since the Republic of Turkey became a multiparty constitutional democracy in 1946, its governmental institutions have been used as tools of patronage in a highly polarized political system. The arduous process of rewriting the Turkish Constitution offers a prime opportunity for parties to co-opt Turkish political institutions to advance their agendas. Sometimes, these agendas coincide. The constitution of 1982, for instance, was in many ways drafted around various protections for the military. But in the years since its adoption, civilian political parties have rallied around the common goal of redacting those protections to keep Turkey's democratic system from descending into martial law. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has made rewriting the constitution, which it considers too tutelary, something of its own cause throughout the nearly decade and a half that it has held power. Now, the air of compromise that has prevailed among Turkey's main three parties --...

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