DPI Peace Table- “Conflict Resolution and Constitution Making in Turkey” 30 September 2023

On September 30th, 2023, in Ankara, DPI hosted a Peace Table and Interactive Seminar titled: ‘Türkiye’s Search for a New Constitution’ and ‘An Inclusive Constitution-Making Process: How Can Civil Society Play a Meaningful Role in Constitution-Making’ respectively. These events were a part of DPI’s larger series on constitution making and conflict resolution in Türkiye titled ‘Conflict Resolution and Constitution-making in Türkiye,’ which aims to understand the role that constitution making can play in peace.

The creation of a new constitution has been an omnipresent discussion in Turkish politics, and regularly comes up. Replacing the 1982 Constitution put in place by the military junta has consistently been brought up, and the Constitution has seen numerous amendments, but never replaced. As Türkiye enters the second century of the Republic, the government under the AK Party has signalled its desire to create a new constitution.

During the Peace Table, participants heard from speakers Prof Dr Sevtap Yokuş, and Prof Dr Fazıl Hüsnü Erdem. The speakers deliberated on the historical trajectory of the Turkish constitution, as well as the current constitutional framework in which Türkiye is presently situated. Participants then discussed a variety of topics including the ongoing search for a new constitution, why past attempts to make a new constitution failed, and the constitution making process itself. During the Interactive Seminar participants were able to dive into a variety of topics including the possibility of the renewal and strengthening of a parliamentary system in Türkiye, the design of a new constitution, and the current situation and role of the opposition in the constitution making process.

This Peace Table and Interactive Seminar took place as a part of DPI’s larger series of events entitled: Supporting the Pro-Peace Agenda in Turkey and the Region, supported by the Irish, Norwegian, and Swiss governments.

This report is available in English and Turkish and can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.