23 Sep 2010

Constitutional Referendum in Turkey: Does it really mean more democracy?

Senem Aydin Düzgit

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The constitutional package that was approved by Turkey’s electorate in the September 12th referendum can decidedly be considered a step forward towards the drafting of a new civilian constitution, which is sorely needed for a rapidly changing, vibrant and dynamic Turkey. Nevertheless, the referendum was bitterly fought between the governing AKP and the opposition parties – CHP and the ultra nationalist MHP – both of which launched a ‘no’ campaign and some 42% of the population voted against it. This Commentary explores why the initiative continues to be subject to debate and criticism in some segments of the mainstream media.
The author is Assistant Professor, Istanbul Bilgi University and Associate Research Fellow, CEPS.