Relations Between Politics and Constitutional Review in Turkey with Special Reference to the Referrals of Republican People's Party: 2002-2010 Period

Serdar Gülener, İrfan Haşlak
Content Type
Journal Article
Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations
Issue Number
Publication Date
Summer-Fall 2011
Center for International Conflict Resolution at Yalova University
In this article, relations between constitutional review and politics will be examined within the framework of referrals of the main opposition party in Turkey, the Republican People's Party (RPP), to the Turkish Constitutional Court (TCC). Decisions of the TCC have, in recent years, engendered discussions about the relations between politics and judiciary. Compared to constitutional courts in western countries, the TCC has followed a statist approach vis-à-vis the individual, which is difficult to understand given that constitutional courts are established primarily to protect individual rights and freedoms. It can be argued that the main reason behind Court's line of decisions is the ideological outlook of its members. However, it should be borne in mind that in order for the court to reach a decision, a claim should be filed with the court by one of the bodies which are given the constitutional right to go to the court. At this point the main opposition party, RPP, emerges as an important actor in Turkish political life. Characteristics of the cases which are taken to the court by the main opposition party have considerably affected the nature of the court's decisions. Getting a good grasp of this issue seems to be of importance since there have been some debates on the boundaries of constitutional review in Turkey. Within this framework, first, judiciary-politics relations will be examined in the context of judicialization of politics. Then, the content of referrals of RPP to the Constitutional Court will be analyzed.
Political Geography