Turkey’s new constitution: The President’s monopoly over state power and the shrinking role of the parliament and judiciary


Turkey’s new constitution: The President’s monopoly over state power and the shrinking role of the parliament and judiciary

Wednesday, 3 March 2021 - 5:00pm
Zoom webinar
Bertil Emrah Oder (Koç University Law School)
Ersin Mahmut Kalaycıoğlu (Sabanci University)
Murat Sevinc (Constitutional Law scholar, formerly Ankara University, Faculty of Political Science)
Mehmet Karli (St Antony’s College, Oxford)
Othon Anastasakis (St Antony’s College, Oxford) and Mehmet Karli (St Antony’s College, Oxford)

Please register here



The panel will focus on the shrinking role of the Parliament and Judiciary vis-à-vis the executive power in the context of Turkey’s ‘new constitution’. Panellists will be treating the following questions: What is Turkey’s current constitutional system? What has been the impact of the ‘new constitution’ upon parliamentary politics in Turkey? Do the courts, and especially the Constitutional Court, play any role in checking and balancing the use of power by the President? What has been the impact of the current state of affairs regarding the separation of powers upon fundamental rights and freedoms? What are the distinguishing features of the present system in this historical context? Where does Turkey’s present constitutional system stand in the context of the history of Ottoman-Republican constitutions?

Bertil Emrah Oder is the Dean and Professor of Constitutional Law at Koç University Law School, received her PhD in both public and private law from University of Cologne (Germany). Dr. Oder’s research focuses on comparative constitutional law, European Union law and international human rights law. She is a full member of the Science Academy and has national and international awards for her scholarly achievements. She has been also selected as Henry Morris Lecturer of International and Comparative Law in 2012 by Chicago-Kent College of Law. She has served as international consultant of UN Women and Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and published four books, dozens of articles, editorials and book chapters on various subjects in public law with focus on human rights and judicial review. Fluent in English, German and Turkish, Dr. Oder holds also LLB and MA/LLM degrees from the University of Istanbul and Marmara University (Turkey).

Mahmut Ersin Kalaycıoğlu is Professor of Political Science at Sabancı University. He served as the Rector (President) of Işık University, Istanbul (2004 – 2007), formerly taught at Istanbul University (1977 – 1984), at Boğaziçi University (1984 and 2002). Dr. Kalaycıoğlu also taught as visiting scholar at the University of Iowa (1980 - 1981) and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (1989 – 1990 and 1998 – 1999), and also served as visiting scholar at St. Antony’s College, Oxford (2000-2001) and Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) Harvard University (2017 – 2018). He has authored, co-authored and co-edited ten books such as Turkish Dynamics: A Bridge Across Troubled Lands (New York: Macmillan-Palgrave, 2005), co-authored with Ali Çarkoğlu, Turkish Democracy Today, (London: I. B. Tauris, 2007) and The Rising Tide of Conservatism in Turkey, (New York: Palgrave – Macmillan, 2009). Dr. Kalaycıoğlu has published in February 2021 a book on types of popular rule called Halk Yönetimi by Efil Yayınevi in Turkish and has co-authored another book with Ali Çarkoğlu of Koç University recently (April 2021) on Turkish voting behavior called Fragile but Resilient? by the University of Michigan Press.  He is currently working as a co-editor and author of another book on the 2018 elections in Turkey called Elections and Public Opinion in Turkey: Through the Prism of the 2018 Election to be published by Taylor and Francis.

Murat Sevinç was previously a tenured faculty member of the University of Ankara in the Faculty of Political Science, which is the oldest school of political science with a continuous tradition reaching back to the Ottoman era. His area of interest and expertise is constitutional law and history and he enjoyed his appointment for nearly 25 years. He was purged from the civil service and his position as Associate Prof. on February 2, 2017 with the new statutory decrees passed under the state of emergency. Subsequent to the purge he has maintained a continuous engagement, to the extent possible, as a public intellectual. He is a regular contributor to a number of news outlets and has offered occasional lectures on constitutional history in a theater hall (Moda Sahne) in İstanbul. He has published articles on constitutional law and its history. He is the author of two books and numerous articles notably in Diken.

Chair: Mehmet Karli is a Visiting Academic at SEESOX, European Studies Centre, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford. He taught international law, international economic law (international trade and investment) and international human rights law at the University of Galatasaray and University of Oxford. His work and research focus on such topics as investor-state dispute settlement, investor protection and political/security crises, international trade governance and WTO, tensions between regionalism and multilateralism in international trade, human rights protection in Turkey, and challenges to rule of law in authoritarian states. As part of his academic visit at SEESOX, Karli pursues two separate research projects. The first one focuses on the potential trade governance alternatives for the U.K. during and after Brexit and the variable geometry of Britain’s future relationship with the EU. The second project examines the challenges to rule of law in Turkey.