Turkey’s Procedural Challenges to Making a New Constitution
Saadet Yüksel, Istanbul University
Designing, adopting, and implementing a new liberal democratic constitution focused on the rights of individuals, poses a formidable challenge to Turkey. Virtually all non-governmental organizations, political parties, and legal scholars have criticized the Constitution of 1982 as a reflection of an authoritarian and statist spirit, largely as a result of the very process by which the constitution was made and adopted. The question then arises why have all subsequent efforts to make and adopt a new constitution failed? Focusing on the content and context of a new constitution, rather than also emphasizing a democratic constitution-making process, ignores a significantly important principle of modern constitution-making. The question therefore further arises what possible solutions may be applicable to Turkey’s dilemma? Designing, adopting, and successfully implementing a new democratic constitution requires transparency and a comprehensive consensus, which can only be provided through an inclusive process, suitable to Turkey’s circumstances and the core values of Turkish society.
Saadet Yuksel graduated from Istanbul Law School with honors, then continued on to obtain her Masters in European Union Law graduating first in her class. Ms. Yuksel currently is a faculty member and research assistant at the Constitutional Law Department of Istanbul University, Faculty of Law. She is also a Ph.D candidate at Istanbul Law School and has been doing research as a visiting scholar at Georgetown Law School and at the International Law Institute. She, as a constitutional lawyer focusing on constitutional reform and design, has conducted and presented research on a variety of legal issues. Among which is included the first Turkish research on the Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for the European Union, constitutional arrangements of Turkey in 2001, and the right to privacy in electronic communications. Saadet Yuksel is the author of the book “Free Movement of Workers in the EU” and contributing author of “Comparative Criminal Law Series No.8.” She has also published several articles in law reviews, including “Childhood Victimization Law in Turkey,” “The EU Constitution and Its Challenges” and “Constitutional Arrangements of Turkey in 2001 under the Framework of the EU Adaptation Process.”