The case of Turkey presents unique opportunities to expand the theoretical horizons of research on the “legal complex”. This paper explores factors behind the growth of off-the-bench activism by judges and prosecutors between 1980 and 2010 and identifies three stages: the collusion between the military and high courts from the 1980 coup until 2005; the increasing politicization and polarization of the legal complex in 2005–2010; and the restructuring of the judiciary in the wake of the 2010 constitutional referendum. Attention is paid to how individual professionals and judicial organizations shape political and judicial processes, but also to the effects of the government’s quest to eliminate political rivals and rearrange the balance of power within the governing coalition.
Onur Bakiner homepage: http://onurbakiner.me
Bakiner, Onur, Judges Discover Politics: Justice, Realpolitik, and Judges' Activism in Contemporary Turkey, Simons Papers in Security and Development, No. 33/2014, School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, January 2014.
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