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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: December 2019

1 - Explaining the Failure of Popular Constitution Making in Turkey (2011–2013)

from Part I - Introduction


This chapter provides a systematic analysis of the failure of popular constitution making in Turkey. Based on the literature and case studies, the chapter begins with elaborating theoretical premises of inclusive and democratic constitution making. Operationalizing the theoretical benchmarks established, the chapter shows that past constitution-making processes in Turkey have not even satisfied minimal conditions of popular constitution making, that is, direct and free election of a constituent assembly through all citizens. Against this background, it is indeed surprising that the 2011–2013 process was designed to meet maximum conditions of popular constitution making ‘e.g., election of MPs as constitution makers, public consultation before and after drafting’. Analyzing the 2011–2013 process, the chapter elaborates that constitution making did not live up to the promise of an inclusive and democratic process. It explains the reasons for failure and demonstrates that parties were unable to overcome deep disagreements over contested issues ‘e.g., state–religion relations, citizenship, government system’.