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  • Author: Berdal Aral
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This paper examines the position of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) during the Arab revolutions of 2010-2013. In the early 1990s, the UNSC devised the doctrine of 'humanitarian intervention' which was premised on the view that systematic and comprehensive human rights violations within a state could pose a “threat to international peace and security.” Nevertheless, the Security Council consistently failed to act during the course of Arab uprisings due to a number of structural and procedural problems, including the primacy of national interests, permanent members' disagreement about the meaning of 'collective security,' and the isolated nature of decision-making whereby the substance of major resolutions is negotiated behind closed doors.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Libya, Arabia
  • Author: Bertil Emrah Oder
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This edited volume on European constitutionalism is a compendium of essays with different interpretations on the constitutional authority and nature of the European Union (EU). This issue has faced various challenges in the last decade not only by national courts and referenda, but also vis-à-vis other international and regional actors, such as United Nations (UN) and European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
  • Topic: Human Rights, International Law, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Haitham Saad Aloudah
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Sa researcher interested in Turkish foreign policy and domestic politics, I was very captivated with the book's title as it entails an analysis of the way in which the EU reforms have impacted Turkey's human rights record and development. However, this also raises questions, such as what were the sources of the democratization and human rights reforms? Has the EU been the main force behind such transformation? Or, are there other domestic factors that we need to take into account as well? Such analysis enables us to draw significant conclusions on the development of the role of the police and other government control and protection tools in a human rights' context and evaluate possible causes of such reforms.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Suna Gülfer Ihlamur-öner
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The EU has been involved in democracy promotion in the Mediterranean for many years. However, it is facing criticism from its members and partners for prioritizing security and stability over democracy. Particularly following the Arab uprisings, the effectiveness of the EU's efforts have increasingly been called into question and demands for a new approach towards democratization in the Mediterranean are growing. Ann-Kristin Jonasson's book, The EU's Democracy Promotion and the Mediterranean Neighbors: Orientation, Ownership and Dialogue in Jordan and Turkey, systematically evaluates the EU's democratization efforts by focusing on democracy promotion in two Mediterranean countries, Jordan and Turkey, and effectively addresses the major pitfalls in the EU's strategy. Therefore, it is a timely contribution as the Arab revolutions have forced us to reconsider the prospects for democratization in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Arabia, Jordan
  • Author: Dario Castiglione
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Although the analysis offered in this book is not very innovative in its details, the overall project is of some originality. Andrew Williams's main contention is that the EU project has developed its own institutional ethos, and that this is the product of both the entrenchment in European public discourse of a number of values, and of the way in which the European legal system (and its underlying philosophy) promotes and protects such values. Williams, however, is critical of the particular ethos that to date has supported the EU polity since he finds it partly incoherent in the articulation of its central values, and relatively uncommitted in the way in which it sustains them. The ethos's incoherence lies, in his view, in the way in which the values at the heart of the EU project are both ambiguous and indeterminate; while the lack of commitment is the product of the half-hearted way in which the institutional framework (in particular European law) supports a public philosophy for Europe, while functioning more as a prop for European governance.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Necati Polat
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This piece is on a number of critical rulings issued recently by high courts in Turkey in brazen disregard of the discourse of human rights, to which a growing commitment appears paradoxically to be the case in democratic politics. The bureaucratic authority that characterizes the dissipating old regime in the country is often associated with the military. Yet the civilian bureaucracy, in particular the high judiciary, with justices long handpicked from among the legal elite with a disdain of democratic politics, has been just as crucial in sustaining the old order molded by anachronisms of the 1930s, when the regime that defines this order, Kemalism, emerged in concerted thinking with authoritarianisms prevalent in Europe at the time. The overhaul of the system of high courts from 2010 has clearly been momentous in seeking to bring the judicial establishment into line with democracy and human rights. Still, the settled reflexes seem on the whole to be resilient in dictating the outcome in crucial cases, rendering the transformation both sluggish and painful.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Ergun Özbudun
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article deals with a recent opinion adopted by the Venice Commission at its meeting on March 12-13 concerning the legal status of non-Muslim religious communities in Turkey and the right of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Istanbul to use the title “ecumenical.” On the first issue the Commission points out the difficulties that arise from the lack of legal personality for such communities, especially in matters related to access to courts and property ownership. The Commission urges Turkish authorities to attend to this problem by choosing from the many models of legal personality for religious groups practiced in European countries. On the second point, the Commission observes that the title ecumenical is a spiritual and ecclesiastical matter, and not a legal one. It concludes that unless Turkish authorities actively interfere with the use of such title by the Patriarchate, the simple refusal of the use of this title by Turkish authorities does not amount to a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Máximo Cajal
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In the foreseeable future, the international system will become one of multipolarity. This new order can be sustainable and peaceful only if it can guarantee harmony and a common purpose among nations. To that end, it must be based upon a package of ethical principles under the aegis of a more powerful, democratic and efficient United Nations system. These principles - democracy, multilateralism, full compliance with international law and respect for human rights - are the same moral rules that underpin the Alliance of Civilizations project as initiated by Spain and Turkey. It was a consequence of the awareness that something new had to be done to prevent a potential confrontation between two worlds, two mindsets. There was, and still is, a danger of a further drift between Islamic and Western societies that might threaten international peace and stability.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Yusuf Şevki Hakyemez
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article discusses the limits of the freedom of political parties in Turkey. The political party bans constitute one of the most important problems threatening the freedom of political parties in Turkey. The restrictions on the political parties come to the fore in two different forms: dissolution after the military coups and closure by means of legislation. In the current context of the case opened against the AK Party, it may be possible and advisable to apply an amendment, bringing Turkish jurisprudence in such matters in line with the standards of the European community. It is concluded that the Constitutional Court should interpret cases of the dissolution of political parties in the context of the principles of "secularism" and the "unitary state" in such a way as to take into account the requirements of the principle of "the rule of law" and to allow different political alignments to express themselves in a "human rights respecting" and "democratic" country.
  • Topic: Democratization, Government, Human Rights, Politics, Law
  • Political Geography: Turkey