Sunday, June 12, 2011
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) won nearly 50% of votes in Sunday's election, giving the party 325 seats in Parliament. The Guardian reports here.
One of the first orders of business will be to rewrite the Constitution.
But the AKP's take in the election--less than the super-majority needed to pass amendments to the Constitution or to submit them to referendum--means that the party alone cannot muscle through changes to the Constitution. (See Article 175 for amendment procedures and requirements.)
Turkey's Constitution is in need of revision. Its current Constitution, written in 1982 (but amended here and there since), has not kept pace with the country's social, economic, and political developments. A referendum last fall on amendments to 26 articles of the Constitution, which passed with 58% of the vote, was seen as a signal that the country is ready for comprehensive constitutional change.
For more on background, check out Steven Cook's blog at the Council on Foreign Relations and Sinan Ulgen's commentary at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.