Constitutional Jurisdiction in Turkey: Documentation, Analysis, and Evaluation of Judgments of the Turkish Constitutional Court (1962-2012)

With regards to its decisions and position in the political life in Turkey, the Turkish Constitutional Court is an important subject of discussion and criticism. Criticisms are related to the principles of the Turkish Republic’s founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk called Kemalism.

 

Critics are concentrated on that the Court does not exceed Kemalism's borders, it protects interests of the Kemalist elites and consolidates their positions within the state and political life. Furthermore, it is argued that the decisions of the Court is based on “the official ideology of the state”, “Characteristics of Republic” and conflicted with basic rights and liberties. Briefly the Constitutional Court is an authoritarian, statist end elitist institution. However, criticisms about decisions and criteria of “being Kemalist” are ambiguous and controversial. Criticisms depends on few decisions. Parties in power which enact laws conflicted with fundamental rights and freedoms is not regarded.

 

The main aim of the study is to examine how the Constitutional Court and state organs which are authorized to appeal to the Constitutional Court perceive Kemalism and the Constitution. Also, clarification of main tendencies in decisions within the frame of authoritarianism and Kemalism by systematic and thematic decision analysis is aimed.