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Turkey's constitutional groundshift

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Turkey's constitutional groundshift


Turkey is under a national curfew, said the newspapers 30 years ago. The army took over the streets and institutions. Many civilians were imprisoned. Vast numbers of Turks were stripped of jobs, political activities banned, books burned.

What will change if amendment of the military-drafted constitution is approved in the referendum?

Protection for the coup leaders would be removed.
Preparing a putsch is a non-military activity, so they would be liable to stand trial in civilian courts, unless a statute of limitations is invoked.

The constitutional reform would make it illegal without consent to keep personal records on a secret blacklist. No more trying civilians in military tribunals. No more banning politically-motivated strikes. No more automatic travel ban on business owners with tax debts. Government employees get collective bargaining rights.

More controversially, for opposition political parties, is that the members of the powerful Constitutional Court would be chosen by the parliament and president. Till now they have been appointed by other courts, composed of members with diverse political views.

Some of the amendments to be voted on this Sunday concern the public’s basic rights. This includes positive discrimination for women, to offset gender inequality. There are also special measures to support the elderly or disabled and relatives of fallen soldiers and veterans. Explicit protection is introduced for children, against all kinds of abuse.

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