Will Legalism be the End of Constitutionalism in Turkey?

On 11 January 2018, Turkish constitutionalism entered a new phase of decay. This phase was not triggered by criticism of its judgments by the government nor by the retreat of constitutional protections by the Turkish Constitutional Court (TCC) nor by constitutional court packing as seen in Hungary or Poland. Instead, first instance courts became the newest actors to challenge the authority of the country’s constitution and how it is interpreted by the TCC. The new rebels against Turkish constitutionalism are ordinary judges.

Continue Reading →

Taking the EU-Turkey Deal to Court?

The EU-Turkey deal on the return of refugees is one of the most controversial policy steps taken by the EU in recent years. The EU General Court chose to sidestep the difficult legal questions raised by the deal by dismissing these cases, ruling it had no jurisdiction to review the deal on the ground that the Statement was not an act of Union institutions, but that of Member States. Will the CJEU use this opportunity to set the record straight by establishing who had the competence to conclude the EU-Turkey deal?

Continue Reading →

Rethinking Turkish Secularism: Towards “Unofficial” Islamic Constitutionalism?

There are both domestic and foreign concerns that Turkey is a theocracy in the making or some “attenuated” version thereof.  While most of these concerns are full of extravagant exaggerations, often suggesting Iran as an example Turkey is allegedly headed towards, there is a certain element of truth embedded in these concerns.

Continue Reading →

The Constitutional Referendum in Turkey: A far Stretch from Right to Free Elections to Referenda?

The Constitutional referendum in Turkey left many voters uncertain about the actual outcome: Unstamped ballots were registered as valid and an appeal against that procedure did not show any satisfying results. Will an appeal in front of the ECtHR show more favourable results?

Continue Reading →

Abusive comparativism: “Pseudo-comparativist” political discourse as a means to legitimizing constitutional change in Turkey

The constitutional amendment process has arguably weakened Turkey’s already-fragile constitutionalist system. This is well known. What is less known and pretty much overlooked is that comparativism and specifically comparative constitutionalism has suffered at the hands of Turkish political elites during the legal and political discussions that preceded the referendum.

Continue Reading →

Populism and the Turkish Constitutional Court: the Game Broker, the Populist and the Popular

Populist strategies have for some time been an integral part of Turkish political life employed dominantly by the right wing political parties.1)For populism as a discursive strategy in Turkey see Zafer Toprak, “Populism ve Türkiye’deki Boyutları”, Tarih ve Demokrasi (Istanbul: Cem Yayınevi, 1992), pp. 41-62; Reşat Kasaba, “Populism and Democracy in Turkey, 1946-1961”, Rules and […]

Continue Reading →

Türkei-Referendum vor dem EGMR: Warum der Gang nach Straßburg diesmal wohl nicht helfen wird

Nachdem die türkische Wahlkommission den Antrag einiger Oppositionsparteien auf Annullierung des Verfassungsreferendums vom 16. April verworfen hat, erwägt die oppositionelle CHP Medienberichten zufolge den Gang nach Straßburg. Dem halten türkische Spitzenpolitiker entgegen, der EGMR sei hierfür nicht zuständig. Was ist hiervon zu halten?

Continue Reading →

Germany and the Erdogan Referendum: the Case for External Voting and Dual Citizenship

Almost a million and a half Turkish citizens resident in Germany are eligible to cast absentee ballots in a Turkish referendum to scrap its parliamentary system. The run-up to the referendum had German authorities obstructing pro-Erdogan rallies, to which Erdogan himself responded with charges that the German government was engaging in “Nazi practices.” The episode marks perhaps the most prominent and controversial example of external political campaigning since such activity has become normalized among states.

Continue Reading →

Freiheit der (Auslands-)Wahl: Musste Deutschland der Türkei die Durchführung des Verfassungsreferendums gestatten?

Seit Montag dieser Woche sind rund 1,4 Millionen in Deutschland lebende türkische Staatsangehörige aufgerufen, in dem umstrittenen Verfassungsreferendum abzustimmen. Die Bundesregierung hatte die Durchführung der Wahl in Konsularvertretungen und eigens für das Referendum eingerichteten Wahllokalen mit dem expliziten Hinweis darauf erlaubt, dass Deutschland zu seinen demokratischen Grundsätzen stehe und sich die Entscheidung in eine Tradition früherer Genehmigungen türkischer Wahlen in Deutschland und dem europäischen Ausland eingliedere. Was bedeutet der Verweis auf die “demokratischen Grundsätze” und die “lange Kontinuität”, Wahlen auf deutschem Boden zu erlauben? Handelt es sich hierbei um rein politische Kulanz, um eine Tendenz, eine völkerrechtliche Praxis zu begründen, oder gar um eine völkerrechtliche Pflicht? Oder hatte im Gegenzug die Türkei die Pflicht, Deutschland um eine solche Genehmigung zu ersuchen? Und hätte eine Versagung der Genehmigung Konsequenzen jenseits einer erneuten Schlechtwetterphase in den deutsch-türkischen Beziehungen gehabt?

Continue Reading →

Brücken für die Diaspora: ein Interview mit RAINER BAUBÖCK

"Die richtige Antwort auf die Unterstützung autoritärer Herkunftsregime durch manche Einwanderer ist es, sie für die deutsche Rechtsordnung und Demokratie zu gewinnen. Und das setzt voraus, das man ihnen den Zugang dazu gewährt. Diesen Zugang kann man auf zwei Weisen gewähren, durch Einbürgerung oder durch das kommunale Ausländerwahlrecht."

Continue Reading →