Debating Unamendability: Deadlock in Turkey’s Constitution-Making Process

  • Oya YegenEmail author
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 68)


Constitutional Conciliation Commission (Anayasa Uzlaşma Komisyonu—AUK) of Turkey, established after the 2011 general elections but called off after the commission could not overcome an impasse on a number of issues, was nevertheless a significant experience in Turkey’s constitutional development. One of the issues that led to the deadlock in the commission was the controversy over unamendable articles. A point of divide among the four parties that made up the commission was whether the new constitution would maintain the eternal clauses of the present constitution that entrench the republic form of the state, its characteristics, and its language or whether it would not include any irrevocable articles. Except the republic’s first constitution of 1921, the three constitutions of modern Turkey included unamendable constitutional provisions, which had previously led to political and constitutional controversies. The subject of unamendable articles was one of the last issues that the commission discussed before the 25 months of enterprise was dissolved. This article traces the evolution of unamendable articles in Turkish constitutions, examines the political parties’ proposals for the draft constitution and analyzes the debates conducted within AUK. It concludes that members of the AUK held irreconcilable positions with respect to unamendability and unamendable articles, which contributed to the breakdown of the negotiations.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sabancı UnversityIstanbulTurkey

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