Backsliding in Turkey: the role of judicial independence
Müftüler-Baç, Meltem (2017) Backsliding in Turkey: the role of judicial independence. In: 2017 APSA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA
Political upheaval in Turkey since 2013 alongside stalled negotiation talks with regard to EU membership have brought the question of judicial independence to the forefront. One aspect of the negotiation process that can shed light onto this development in Turkish politics is understanding the reasons behind the trajectory of the country’s judicial reforms in roughly the past 15 years and subsequent reversal since 2013, and almost a major rupture since 2016. In this regard, this paper posits that external factors such as the EU’s political conditionality and incentives as well as internal factors such as domestic conditions and political costs of adapting to EU norms were key in shaping Turkey’s judicial reforms. The paper sets out an empirical analysis of the judicial reforms as influenced partly by the EU in four periods: 1999-2006, 2007- 2013, 2013-2016, and since the July 15 2016 coup attempt. The paper addresses the larger question of how internal developments and receptiveness- as measures by domestic political costs-shape the effectiveness of external factors in judicial reforms.
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