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Turkey and the Codification of Autocracy. CEPS Policy Insights No 2017/10 March 2017

Blockmans, Steven. and Yilmaz , Sinem (2017) Turkey and the Codification of Autocracy. CEPS Policy Insights No 2017/10 March 2017. [Policy Paper]

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    Turkey’s Parliament has approved a constitutional reform bill that will come into effect if approved in the national referendum on 16 April 2017. This controversial package seeks to replace the current parliamentary system with a fully fledged executive presidential system, without checks and balances. If President Erdoğan’s constitutional reform bill is approved, it will centralise power around the presidency and the current separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches will cease to be. This raises the question of whether Turkey, with its new constitution, will continue to satisfy the Copenhagen criteria for EU membership. Most EU leaders and institutions have remained conspicuously silent on the matter of constitutional ‘reform’ in Turkey. Considering the country’s backsliding on compliance with the Copenhagen political criteria, the authors of this paper argue that it is time for the EU to deliver a strong message that draws attention to the undemocratic nature of the amendments and the possibility of suspending accession talks if the bill is passed. The EU’s red line on the reintroduction of the death penalty should not become a red herring to divert attention from the deeply problematic constitutional ‘reform’ process. Similarly, Turkey’s strategic importance should not override the Union’s core democratic principles.

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    Item Type: Policy Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: Countries > Turkey
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > Centre for European Policy Studies (Brussels) > CEPS Policy Insights
    Depositing User: Phil Wilkin
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2017 12:32
    Number of Pages: 20
    Last Modified: 13 Mar 2017 13:16

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