ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Turkey Votes for Greater Democracy

As Turkey sets out to deepen democracy, will it maintain its secularism?

Turkey has embarked on a delicate journey to a fuller democracy that will see parliament and the presidency with expanded powers, the military with reduced powers and yet do so without giving more play to a nascent Islamism.

A referendum on a 26-point constitutional package was approved last month by a large 58% “yes” vote. The proposals were essentially to provide parliament and the presidency with greater authority to appoint judges to the higher courts and take away the immunity to the army for attempts at military coups, as was carried out in 1980. It was also about giving citizens greater individual freedoms, including the abolition of the existing ban on strikes. By any yardstick, these are welcome proposals which should have received near-universal approval.

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