“AUTOCRATIC LEGALISM“ IN TURKEY: LEGALITY VS. CONSTITUTIONAL DEMOCRACY
Legalism is instrumentalized by current autocratic regimes in various ways to consolidate their power. Most notably, authoritarianism is masked by legality in many occasions, and legalism is therefore enshrined in these regimes as the key to success in maintaining legitimacy. Not only does “anomaly“ characterize democracy in these regimes, but so does legalism. Drawing on Scheppele’s views on the characteristics of contemporary “autocratic legalism,“ the papers in this panel will elaborate on how contemporary autocrats reconstruct legalism in order to subserve it to reinforce authoritarian transformation. The ongoing democratic decline in Turkey marks one such process with a profound record of reconfigurations in the legal system. The panelists will discuss how autocratic legalism has recently become entrenched in Turkey through a number of specific areas, including the recent constitutional transformation.