The Paradox of the Turkish Constitution: A Hollow Idol?

Tarik Olcay (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the past three decades, major reforms to the constitution have been continuously proposed in Turkey in one way or another by the main political actors. The answers to many political problems have been suggested to be found in formal constitutional redesign, and citizens have affirmed this position by engaging in constitutional debate and providing high turnout in constitutional referendums. Whilst there is such continuous engagement with constitutional form and its refinement, constitutional actors in Turkey also brazenly violate the constitution—the article analyses examples where the President, the Constitutional Court, the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, and criminal courts have done so. With a view to assessing the true value of the formal constitution in the Turkish constitutional order and political actors’ motivations and aims for promising constitutional reform, the article explores the apparent discrepancy between the preoccupation with formal constitutional design and outright disrespect for the constitution by constitutional actors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalConstitutional Studies
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2024


  • constitutional reform
  • constitutional value
  • unconstitutionality
  • presidentialism
  • Turkey


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