Turkish constitutional reform under fire from opposition and business

Press quote (EurActiv.com)
Katinka Barysch
30 March 2010

It woud be "misguided" for the AKP to hastily adopt a new constitution now in an attempt to ensure its own political survival, writes analyst Katinka Barysch in an insight article for the Centre for European Reform. "Such a strategy may work, in the sense that it would prevent a 'judicial coup' against the government. But it would hardly assuage the concerns of those who suspect the AKP of using democracy as a means to pursue a hidden agenda of Islamisation," Barysch writes. "That is why liberals in Turkey and some of Turkey's supporters in the West are calling on the government not to amend the old constitution but adopt an entirely new, more modern one. They are right that a move to make it harder to ban political parties would be more acceptable as part of a wider reform package. The AKP needs to find a way of rekindling the implicit bargain between itself and Turkey's liberals, who have grudgingly backed the party because of its modernising and pro-EU agenda but have lately become disillusioned," Barysch argues.