A Do-Over for Istanbul: Gripping Electoral Law and Democratic Resilience

On 31 March 2019, Turkey’s municipal elections resulted in a shock defeat for the ruling AK Party of president Erdoğan in the overwhelming majority of metropolitan cities. The Supreme Electoral Board canceled the Istanbul election soon after by announcing its reasoning on 22 May. The entire process illustrates how the AK Party has been adjusting the electoral law in a way that has now resulted in the cancellation and re-run of Istanbul’s mayoral election.

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“De-constitutionalism” in Turkey?

Can “de-” be a modifier to describe the constitutionalism in a country? "De-constitutionalism" is what Prof. Kemal Gözler, a constitutional law scholar, has termed the current state of constitutionalism in Turkey. His argument is that constitutional bad faith practices employed by the constitutional institutions (mainly the executive, but also the judiciary) lead one to hold the view that there is no more a (valid) constitution in Turkey. Whatever it is termed, one thing is certain: that Turkey is undergoing a constitutional deadlock or crisis, and its indicators can be observed on many occasions.

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