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Turkey’s “Yes” Vote – One Eye On EU

  • September 13th, 2010
  • Posted by 7thmin

recep-tayyip-erdogan.jpgPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey (picture) has received an emphatic “yes” in the referendum to endorse a package of changes to the structures of government, and deliver a rebuff to national elites, including the Army.

His  Justice and Development Party (AK), with a clear Islamist identity and connections, has been accused by opponents of working to undermine the secular tradition laid down by the founder of the republic, Kemal Ataturk.

In response it has obtained a reputation, as a single party in government, without a coalition, of delivering stability, receiving 58% backing for its planned changes on the weekend (12.9.10).

The referendum package permits some changes in the Turkish constitution and across other institutions, which the government sees as setting the country up in a better way in its bid to join the liberal and democratic, and more affluent European Union.

The package contains several elements directed at removing bars on human activity left over from authoritarian regimes in  the past.

Some details:

Army officers implicated in military coup attempts will lose immunity from prosecution for criminal acts, and others who fell out with the military establishment will be able to get redress of grievances.

Civil rights are to be better guaranteed including protection of women, children and the aged from discrimination; privacy laws, less restricted freedom of movement, and rights of association for trade union members.

A contentious issue with the Opposition, more authority to Parliament, and therefore the Prime Minister at this time, in the appointment of judges – with an expansion of the number of judges able to settle more cases, including aspects of constitutional government.

See also, EUAustralia Online: “Let Turkey into EU – British PM”, 28.7.10; “Turkey – Europe …”, 17.7.10; Many journalists in Gaza evacuation”, 3.6.10.


Associated Press (AP), NY, “Key issues in Turkey’s referendum on amendments”, 12.9.10., (13.9.10).

Delphine Strauss, “Turkey: referendum relief – but now comes the election”, 13.9.10, Financial Times, London,, (13.9.10).