The myth of 'independent judiciary': the evolution of judiciary-executive relations in Turkish politics


CONTEMPORARY POLITICS, vol.22, no.2, pp.232-247, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/13569775.2016.1153283
  • Title of Journal : CONTEMPORARY POLITICS
  • Page Numbers: pp.232-247


The position of judiciary in politics is an important area of discussion for both legal and political experts. The issue has particularly been on Turkish political agenda for the past decade with the emergence of a strong single-party government under the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi-JDP) rule. This article aims to analyse the evolution of relations between the judiciary and executive in Turkey from a historical perspective by examining the Republican era until the JDP rule. The struggle over the control of institutions becomes more visible during periods of strong government and the analysis shows that the idea of an independent, apolitical judiciary is a myth that was created by the institutional and legal design of the Republic in the Turkish case and is not peculiar to the JDP government.