Referendum in Turkey: Erdogan's victory will change the country
The political system of Turkey will have see a transformation after the national referendum of September 12. The ruling Justice and Development Party of Recep Tayyip Erdogan has convinced people to approve amendments to the Constitution. The amendments will limit the privileges of the army, reform the court system and give greater powers to parliament.
Constitutional reform was the first major change of Turkish law after
the military coup of 1980. The military had more influence than the
president or the premier. In 1990 the military forced Necmettin
Erbakan to resign. Erdogan managed to open da iscussion of the
Constitution; moreover, before the start of the referendum in Ankara
the head of the military was replaced.
Turkey is devoted to joining EU. The referendum changed the legal
space of the country to make it meet the European standards. The EU
and European organizations were the first to approve. Now state
employees in Turkey have the right to joint agreements and strikes.
Yet, France and Germany are opposed to Turkey joining the EU. They
fear cultural differences and they can already feel a Turkish presence
in form of Turkish communities.
Results of the referendum mainly affect the court system. Most of the
29 constitutional amendments refer to the Constitutional Court and the
High Council of Judges and Prosecutors. They allow civil court to
consider military cases. The Court of Appeal has given its power to
dissolve political parties to the parliament. Turkey will have an
ombudsman institution, and the military loses legal immunity. The High
Court will carry out legal proceedings of the premier head of the
General Staff, Commander of the forces, other military issues will be
considered by civil courts.
Some aspects of the court reform may create a basis for persecution of
participants of the military coup of 1980. Society is bothered because
putting the military and civil society together does not meet the
formed basis of government. Some consider the referendum the end of
Erdogan's political opponents criticized him for the amendments but
called for respect of the people's choice. Leader of the Republican
People's Party (CHP) Kemal Kilicdaroglu said that they will only
contribute only if there is development of compromise culture and
refusal of obtrusion.
Leader of the Nationalist Movement Party Devlet Bahceli said that
constitutional amendments will put the country into gloom.
Leader of Peace and Democracy Party Selahattin Demirtas said that they
are ready to support establishment of the new Constitution.
Such an approach by the opposition demonstrates that Turkey has gone
far in the efficiency of its democracy and it will save it from future
convulsions. Erdogan may become the country's most 'long-playing'
premier in its history.
Author: Yevgeniy Krishtaliov. Exclusively for VK