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Regime Change: Turkey's (À La Turca) Presidential System

February 15, 2017 from 2:30pm-4:30pm EST
Georgetown University, CCAS Boardroom (ICC 241), Washington, DC
Speakers: Amberin Zaman, Al Monitor & Woodrow Wilson Center
  Henri Barkey, Woodrow Wilson Center
Moderator: Dr. Sinan Ciddi, Insitute of Turkish Studies

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On January 21, Turkey's Parliament approved a package of constitutional amendments proposed by members of the Justice and Development (AKP) and Nationalist Action (MHP) parties, which could result in Turkey transitioning from parliamentary to a presidential system; one that would lack strong checks and balances, and would be largely bereft of the principle of separation of powers. Opposition parliamentarians and many observers have criticized this systemic change as a means of formally institutionalizing a one-man regime, specifically to benefit the current president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. During the early days of April 2017, Turkish voters will go to the polls and decide on whether to accept these changes or not. What are the primary motivations for this systemic change; what will be the implications for Turkey's democratic governance structures and institutions; and how will it impact Turkey's relationships with its allies?

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