Coup, Emergency and Constitutional Referendum: The Rule of Law Under Pressure in Turkey

A lecture by Ali Dursun Ulusoy (Ankara University School of Law, Turkey)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
12:15 PM - 1:30 PM
UCLA School of Law, Room 1337

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In Turkey, the State of Emergency declared following the attempt of Coup d’Etat of July 2016 is still reigning. The constitutional amendment which were accepted by the Referendum of April 2017 and which has shifted the government from a parliamentary to a presidential system has been made under the conditions of this emergency. The real aim of the amendment seems to fortify President Erdogan’s capacity to govern the country solitarily in a case where his party cannot reach the majority in Parliament in the next elections. Even though it brings theoretically some positive changes, the most important weakness of the new system seems to be the creation of a subjective system which is wholly oriented to the personality of the president. In such a system, the substantiation of democracy looks extremely hazardous. However, the profound interest of Western countries as well as of Turkish people undoubtedly is to keep Turkey as a democracy, applied with the Western human rights standards.


Dr. Ali Dursun Ulusoy is Professor of Public Law at Ankara University School of Law. He is a former Member of the Council of State (Danıştay) in Turkey, which is the highest administrative court in the country. He has also served in many senior administrative positions at Ankara Law School, which is one of the most distinguished and prestigious law schools in the country. Professor Ulusoy has served as a Visiting Scholar for the academic year 2017-18 at UCLA School of Law.


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Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, International & Comparative Law Program (ICLP) at UCLA School of Law