New Constitutional Amendment Proposal in Turkey: A Threat to Pluralistic Democracy!

Turkey will hold a referendum on a fundamental constitutional reform, probably in April. The designed political regime is neither parliamentarism nor presidentialism. Although the government calls the new political regime as a “Turkish type of presidentialism” with a populist discourse; in reality, the new regime will bring a kind of “delegative democracy”, which is seen usually in the South American, sub-Saharan African and in central Asian countries.

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The Final Trick? Separation of Powers, Checks and Balances, and the Recomposition of the Turkish State

The Turkish parliament has recently passed constitutional amendments that will, pending the public referendum in spring 2017, set aside decades of parliamentary system tradition. Presumably aimed to repair the dysfunctions of the current regime and to respond to the need of a “stronger Turkey”, the proposed draft does not only eradicate the principle of separation of powers but rebuilds the state according to the interests of ruling groups, without much consideration being paid to the overall integrity of the system and long term implications.

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The Turkish Constitutional Court under the Amended Turkish Constitution

In March 2016, the Turkish Constitutional Court (TCC) ruled that the rights of the Turkish journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül had been violated, leading to their release from prison after three months. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan responded by criticizing the TCC sharply, questioning its existence and legitimacy. This had not been the first time over the last years, that the Court had been attacked. The constitutional amendments, that will be put to referendum in April 2017, seemed to be a golden opportunity to change the composition and cut back the broad competences of the TCC. Did the AKP-led Parliamentary Constitutional Committee seize this opportunity?

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Turkey’s draft constitutional amendments: harking back to 1876?

In the last month of 2016, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the fourth biggest party, the National Movement Party (MHP) unveiled a controversial new draft constitution which aims at a total system change. Initially, the most striking changes include the strengthening of the presidency with several new powers and no accountability to the judiciary. Furthermore, the way is cleared for Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to rule the country until 2029, and who knows – maybe even longer.

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Mercan v. Turkey: Waiting for the Last Word of the Turkish Constitutional Court

For the time being, the fallout of the attempted coup d’ètat of July 15th 2016 in Turkey will not reach Strasbourg. Victims of alleged human rights violations first have to exhaust domestic remedies before they can apply to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). This is the result of Mercan v. Turkey, the first of more than 3000 applications regarding alleged violations after the attempted coup and the declaration of a state of emergency. The Strasbourg court views the Turkish Constitutional Court (TCC) not as per se incapable of adjudicating in these cases in an effective way. If the TCC can live up to these expectations remains to be seen.

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Erdogan in Köln – Zumutungen des Versammlungsrechts II

Letzte Woche habe ich die Entscheidungen zu der Pro-Erdogan Kundgebung in Köln kommentiert. Zum Zeitpunkt der Veröffentlichung lag mir der Auflagenbescheid des Polizeipräsidiums Köln nicht vor. Da es hierzu Fragen gab und der Bescheid mir nun zugänglich gemacht wurde, möchte ich meine bisherigen Ausführungen ergänzen.

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Erdogan in Köln: Zumutungen des Versammlungsrechts

Das Verbot, den türkischen Staatspräsidenten Erdogan per Videoübertragung vor Kölner Demonstranten reden zu lassen, weckt versammlungsrechtliche Zweifel. Will sich die rechtsstaatliche Demokratie nicht angreifbar machen, muss sie ihre eigenen Standards einhalten. Dies betrifft auch den Umgang mit antidemokratischen und rechtsstaatswidrigen Anfeindungen.

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Crackdown in der Türkei: einige Gedanken zur Ausreisefreiheit

Die türkische Regierung will nach dem gescheiterten Putsch sämtliche Hochschulangestellte des Landes daran hindern, ins Ausland zu reisen. Der Vorgang lenkt den Blick auf ein Recht, mit dem es gerade aus deutscher Perspektive eine ganz besondere Bewandtnis hat: das Recht auf Ausreisefreiheit.

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Can Greece lawfully extradite the eight Turkish soldiers to Turkey?

Turkey demands the extradition of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece on Saturday 16 July after Friday’s failed coup, using an army helicopter. The key question is whether they would face a ‘real risk’ of ill-treatment contrary to Art. 3 ECHR. I tentatively conclude that such real risk is made out.

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