On 21 February 2022, DPI held an in-person roundtable event entitled ‘Incrementalist Constitution-Making in Polarised Societies: The Turkish Case’ in Istanbul. The event was the first meeting organised under the series titled ‘Constitution Making and Conflict Resolution in Turkey’, which aims to understand the role that constitution-making processes can play as part of possible conflict resolution efforts in Turkey. The new series is designed in conjunction with DPI’s recent research report with the same title that was published in January 2022, co-written by constitutional law experts Prof Dr Fazıl Hüsnü Erdem, Prof Dr Sevtap Yokuş, Dr Vahap Coşkun and Dr Zeynep Ardıç.
The meeting brought together a diverse group of academics, lawyers, policy makers, civil society members, journalists, and senior political figures responsible for legal and human rights issues from different political parties in Turkey. While all political parties were invited, present at this event were representatives from AK Party, HDP, Good Party and DEVA. The speaker, Fazıl Hüsnü Erdem, discussed the incrementalist constitution-making method as a possible conflict resolution method in polarised societies such as Turkey. During the rest of the event, the participants discussed the previous constitution drafts in Turkey, the need for an inclusive participatory method and whether the resolution of the Kurdish issue and the making of an inclusive constitution could happen simultaneously.
This roundtable forms part of a larger series of activities planned in the context of the project: “Forging Pathways to Peace and Democracy in Turkey”, supported by the Irish and Swiss governments.