Turkey’s Middle Democracy Issues
and How to Solve Them
Judiciary, Accountability And Fair Representation

As Turks, we owe a debt of gratitude to Atatürk and his fellow fighters. It was they who set out to raise our nation to the highest standard of civilization and prosperity. Starting almost from scratch, Turkey has succeeded in joining the leading economies of the world and established a bedrock of democratic governance.

Turkish society has readily adopted – and, indeed, now presses the government for – that democratic governance. Yet democracy remains inconsistent in Turkey. Our economy suffers ups and downs depending on the foresightedness of our government, and it is by no means easy to make a long-term plan to enhance the nation’s welfare in a sustainable fashion.

Yet the occasions on which it has failed or been interrupted have served as lessons from which we can learn. In essence, however, Turkey’s challenge is not actually the protection of democracy but the prevailing rule of law over the judiciary – both in establishing accountability and for fair representation.

When this fundamental problem is solved, the problem of maintaining democracy will also be automatically resolved. The non-accountability of the judiciary and civil servants is one of the greatest issues we are facing in the rule-of-law field, and the cause of the many paradoxes afflicting our country. It is wrong to restrict the independence of the judiciary, of course, but it’s now believed to be justified because the judiciary is not accountable. Making civil servants accountable to the judiciary only with the prior permission of their superiors is also wrong, but the judiciary’s non-accountability offers easy justification.

To put it another way, the view that the judiciary is not accountable compromises not only its own independence, but also the accountability of executive power and of public officers, and, as a result, deviations from the rule and supremacy of law are believed to be justified. This is the paradox, the pressing problem that Turkey must promptly solve. And the solution starts with assuring accountability in the judiciary and in public administration in general via a re-assertion of the rule of law.

The purpose of this book is to identify Turkey’s fundamental problems, to demonstrate the root causes of those problems via the interspersion throughout of references to many legal texts, and to propose suggestions for their solution, thereby plotting a simple road map to democracy. Its aim is to be the most comprehensive of all the works created to date on the democratisation of our nation.

Structural Reforms Summit

“Turkey’s Dilemma: Middle Income and Middle Democracy Traps”


“Structural Reforms Summit”, jointly organized by TURKONFED and Better Justice Association featured prominent Turkish and international experts including Alvaro Rodriguez, UN Turkey Officer in Charge, Bernard Brunet, European Commission Head of Unit Turkey and Prof. Dr. Erinç Yeldan, Professor of Economics at Bilkent University to share analysis and foresights on the subject matter of “Middle Income and Middle Democracy Traps”.

4 Reforms for Better Democracy

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