Turkey’s Constitutional Court deals blow to gov’t

Turkey’s Constitutional Court deals blow to gov’t

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey’s Constitutional Court deals blow to gov’t

Constitutional Court led by Kılıç deals heavy blow to the government. DAILY NEWS photo

Turkey’s top court struck a serious blow to the government yesterday by annulling several governmental decrees on the establishment of new ministries, citing unconstitutionality and obliging the ruling party to bring them before Parliament in six months time.

In a series of decisions, the Constitutional Court partially annulled governmental decrees having the force of law (KHK), citing two articles of the Constitution in their reasoning.

The KHKs partially annulled referred to the establishment of several new ministries and their component structures after the general elections in June 2011, when Parliament went to recess.

These involved the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs, and the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, all of which were established by decrees issued by the government rather than through laws approved by Parliament. The decisions involving the three ministries came upon appeal of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for the annulment and stay of execution of the related KHKs. The CHP took almost all the KHKs to the top court, but has so far received limited annulment.

According to the law, the government has six months to fix any problem by submitting draft laws to Parliament after the court’s rulings are published in the Official Gazette.


The court’s ruling stated that the government had the right to ask to be empowered by Parliament to issue decrees that had the force of law, but urged that “the fundamental rights, individual rights and duties included in the First and Second Chapter of the second part of the Constitution and the political rights and duties listed in the Fourth Chapter, cannot be regulated by decrees having the force of law except during periods of martial law and states of emergency according to Article 91 of the Constitution.” Before the summer recess in 2011, with the support of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmakers, the government obtained authorization from Parliament to issue KHKs with a wide authority. Since then, the government has bypassed Parliament by issuing statutory KHKs mainly aimed at overhauling the bureaucracy and creating new ministries.