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Headscarves, Judicial Activism, and Democracy: The 2007-08 Constitutional Crisis in Turkey
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences.
2010 (English)In: The European Legacy, ISSN 1084-8770, E-ISSN 1470-1316, Vol. 15, no 4, 467-482 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

How are we to understand and analyse the constitutional tension in Turkey between the judiciary and the political sphere? In this article the issue is mirrored in the political crisis which started in April 2007 with the nomination by the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Abdullah Gül as a candidate for the presidency. The more detailed empirical background consists primarily of the dress code problematique including the matter of party closure. Theoretically the ‘hegemonic preservation’ thesis elaborated by Ran Hirschl turned out to be a useful instrument when it comes to understanding and explaining the political crisis mentioned as well as the origin of  the so called new constitutionalism. This is illustrated by the judicial activism in the headscarf affair as well as by the eagerness of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), as the political representative of the secular establishment, to play the ‘Atatürk card’ and to submit the protection of their interest to an independent judiciary and not to the uncertainties of the mechanisms of majoritarian democracy. However, my analysis also shows that Hirschl’s thesis, with regard to the current Turkish case, is too static and should be complemented with a more dynamic perspective of constitutional politics as a repeated game. One example of this is that even if the Turkish Constitutional Court (TCC) declared the constitutional amendment on the headscarf invalid and voted for an economic penalty against AKP, TCC did not close the party down.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Essex: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group , 2010. Vol. 15, no 4, 467-482 p.
Keyword [en]
constitution, headscarf, hegemonic preservation, juristocracy, party closure, secularism, Turkey
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Social Sciences, Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-8223OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-8223DiVA: diva2:349090
Available from: 2010-09-05 Created: 2010-09-05 Last updated: 2015-02-26Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf