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Fulden Eskidelvan

Law, Politics and Judicial Decision-Making: The Constitutional Court of Turkey between selective judicial activism and judicial restraint

Since its establishment the Constitutional Court of Turkey (CCT) has been accused of a political bias when engaging into judicial review. Allegations of this kind are still existent concerning current rulings. The study examines the track record of the CCT during the reign of the Justice and Development Party (JDP).


Using political jurisprudence as its theoretical foundations the research investigates if constitutional adjudication in the realm of censorship, as one the leading controversies in current Turkish politics, is tainted with politicization. The assumption to be tested is that due to its changing composition the decision-making, namely judicial reviews of high salient cases, would be subject to change. This is expected to manifest itself in a shift on the micro-level structure (following Toulmin) of the opinions issued in the course of the rendition of judgement.


Hence, deriving from the Toulmin Model a text-immanent analysis on the decisions of the CCT on censorship-related legislation is conducted. In a second step the respective parliamentary debate about the very same laws serves as a tool for detecting political elements in constitutional adjudication.

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