Society, Politics, and Economy in Modern Turkey: Sociology of Turkey - Maintained by Tugrul Keskin
We are at a point in our work when we can no longer ignore empires and the imperial context in our studies. (p. 5)
― Edward W. Said, Culture and Imperialism

Friday, May 23, 2014

Did reforms stop in Turkey?

By Ibrahim Kalin

Turkey Agenda - May 20, 2014

Recently there has been a recurring claim that Turkey has stopped introducing new judicial and political reforms. Critics claim that the Turkish state has forsaken its reform agenda which it followed until the 2011 elections and wants to maintain the status quo that developed under its rule since 2002.

This is not true. Since 2010 the government has introduced a large number of new laws and regulations, all of which are either derived from the Copenhagen criteria or have been suggested by the EU since Turkey's accession talks began in 2005. These reforms have been supported by a large group of opinion makers, politicians and the public at large.

A cursory look at the list of reforms over the last three years reveals a steady trend. The referendum on Sept. 12, 2010 introduced the following changes:

-Children's rights were strengthened under the constitutional law
-The office of the Ombudsman gained constitutional status and began its work
-Members of Parliament were prevented from losing their status in the event their political party shuts down
-The right of individual application to the Constitutional Court was granted
-A Human Rights Committee was established to protect and improve human rights, prevent torture and maltreatment and train citizens and officials in the field of human rights


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