For almost 30 years Turkey has marched to the rhythm of a constitution brought in by military leaders after a coup in the early 80s.
But all that could soon change if the current government has its way in moving Turkey closer to EU democratic standards.
The ruling AK Party has unveiled controversial plans to reform the constitution. They want to make it harder to ban political parties, shake-up the way judges and prosecutors are appointed and limit the powers of the military, among other changes.
An overhaul of the court that upholds Turkey’s secular constitution is also planned.
Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said the aim was to reinforce the power of the people. He said today his party was in power, but tomorrow it could be another party. “What won’t change,” he said, “is the will of the people.”
Critics in the conservative establishment claim the reforms by the Islamic-rooted government are a challenge to Turkey’s secular order. The ruling party says it will seek opposition support to pass the reforms, but a referendum on the issue is also possible.