Turkey writes its constitution: Challenges, Opportunities and Obstacles

29/02/2012 | 18:00 - 19:30 | DGAP | Invitation only

Discussion

Category: Turkey

Joint event by German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and the TESEV Democratization Program.

For the first time in its history, Turkey is formally in the process of drafting a civil constitution based on the “will of the people.” While some question to what extent that will is represented on a parliament elected on the basis of the highest electoral threshold in Europe, others defend the legitimacy of this parliament on the basis of the record high turnout in the general elections of June 2011. It is also argued, the rule of unanimity in decision making agreed upon by the special parliamentary commission established for the purposes of drafting the constitution is destined to paralyze the process. In the meantime, the Kurdish question remains unresolved; the armed conflict between the army and the PKK continues in full force, the basic rights demands of the Kurds remain unmet, and thousands of Kurdish politicians and activists remain detained upon remand on terrorism charges. Many wonder: what is the agenda of the governing AK Party? Will Turkey be able to write a new constitution, after all?

Welcome remarks and Introduction

Ambassador Paul von Maltzahn
Executive Vice President, DGAP

Panel

Speakers:   

Levent Köker
Atılım University, on constitutional and judicial reform

Dilek Kurban
TESEV Democratization Program, on the Kurdish question

Etyen Mahçupyan
TESEV Democratization Program, on AKP and the Islamist community

Chair and discussant:    

Guenter Seufert
Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP)

Open debate

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