The SETA Foundation at Washington D.C. Presents
Roundtable Discussion: Judicial Reform and Democracy in an Election Year
featuring Yasin Aktay and Osman Can
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Turkey is gearing up for local elections in March 2014 and presidential elections in the summer. While the government continues to pursue a “settlement process” in the decades old Kurdish question, it has been shaken by corruption allegations in December. Following the failure to draw up an entirely new civilian constitution in the parliament and the most recent corruption probe, the role of various networks within the police and the judiciary is once again front and center in Turkish politics. In the context of a highly polarized political climate, Turkey is headed for an election cycle in which the quality of democracy will surely constitute one of the main debates.
Dr. Yasin Aktay has just been appointed the AK Party Vice President for External Affairs. Following his distinguished academic career in Sociology at Selcuk University, Aktay has served as Member of the Central Decision-Making and Administrative Committee (MKYK) of AK Party since September 2012. Author of many books and articles and editor of journals such as Tezkire and Sivil Toplum (Civil Society), Aktay also leads the Institute for Strategic Thinking, a Turkish think tank based in Ankara. He currently teaches at Yildirim Beyazit University.
Dr. Osman Can is Member of the Central Decision-Making and Administrative Committee (MKYK) of AK Party since September 2012. Can is Professor of Constitutional Law and he served as the Rapporteur in the Constitutional Court during the closure cases against DEHAP and AK Party. His report during the presidential crisis of 2007 was crucial in opening the way for election of Turkish president by public vote. Founder of German-Turkish Public Lawyers Forum, Can was selected, “Thinker of the Year” by the Writers Union of Turkey and “Jurist of the Year” by the Association of Jurists in Turkey in 2010. He currently teaches at Marmara University.