His Excellency Mr. President,
I would like to welcome you to our ceremony held on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Constitutional Court, as well as extend you all my most sincere greetings.
Today, we are hosting the chairmen and justices of regional human rights tribunals from all over the world, the representatives of international institutions, and presidents and justices of constitutional courts/councils of 26 countries. I would like to express my gratitude for hosting such distinguished guests in our country.
As a well-known fact, the primary duty of the courts throughout the world is to secure the justice. It is a vital mission, as it is the justice itself that ensures and maintains balance within the individual, social and political life. Therefore, in almost every society throughout the history, justice has been regarded as the raison d’être of the State –organised form of the society– on one hand, and the condition sine qua non for its continued existence, on the other.
Abdurrahman Câmi, by whom the Ottoman statesmen, notably Mehmet the Conqueror, were inspired, cited this function of the justice in his work “Baharistan” very succinctly. According to Câmi, it is the justice which is the underlying reason of the presence of rulers and “the value decisive for protection of the country”.1
However, justice is a virtue that cannot be easily realised. For the very reason, as the most eminent virtue, justice is not a matter of rhetoric, but of a practice. In other words, what should be achieved is to ensure the implementation of justice, but also in an apparent way, rather than to merely make mention of it. The proper and effective administration of justice in an apparent way will reinforce the public trust and confidence in the State, especially in the judiciary, vested with the authority to dispense justice.
In practice, justice is the accordance and assurance of a given right. This brings forward the close link between justice and power. The secure of justice requires power, and legitimacy of power may be ensured through justice. In this sense, the eminent philosopher Pascal states that “justice without power is inefficient, power without justice is tyrannical. Justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just.2
It is undoubtedly the law that could render what is powerful just at the same time. Indeed, the main function of the law is to combine power and justice by means of restricting the political power. Accordingly, as stated by the late Alija Izetbegović, who qualified power merely as an instrument to achieve justice, “Law steps in when and where the ruler is subject to restriction”.3
What underlies the constitutional jurisdiction is the consideration to integrate the power with the law and justice. The concern to protect and maintain fundamental rights and freedoms by setting certain restrictions for the political power within the constitutional boundaries has led to the institutionalisation of constitutional jurisdiction in the last century. Notably, the reaction to the massacres and systematic violations of human rights during the two great wars has resulted in the establishment of constitutional courts, at national level, and of human rights tribunals at international level.
Nevertheless, human beings unfortunately have a short memory. After so many wars, massacres and systematic violations of human rights taking place, how a great tragedy it must be to witness over and over again to the same eclipse of mind and conscience.
On the other hand, the existence of any institution cannot per se assure the function expected of it. In this sense, the mere existence of constitutional courts does not suffice for the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. An effective and functional constitutional jurisdiction is dependent on the fulfilment of two essential conditions that we may call, from the institutional perspective, one of them as external and the other as internal.
The external condition is the predominance of the principle of separation of powers in the constitutional system. This principle is predicated on the idea that in cases where the State’s powers are not divided into separate branches, the protection of rights and freedoms will become impossible. As a matter of fact, in the book written by Babanzâde İsmail Hakkı at a time during which the separation of powers was regarded even as a denial (“elfaz-ı küfür”), he noted that the exercise of all powers by a sole authority would inevitably lead to an arbitrary regime.4
For this very reason, following the long-standing and sorrowful experiences, the principle of separation of powers has become an element sine qua non for modern constitutions. Thereby, the democratic constitutions have introduced certain arrangements so as to prevent the legislative, executive and judicial powers from interfering with the spheres of authority of one another by way of going beyond the check and balance role.
In addition, the effective implementation of the separation of powers is requisite for the independence of the judiciary in general, and in particular, of the constitutional jurisdiction. Regardless of which governmental system is adopted, the primary of the conditions that render the regimes a state governed by rule of law is the existence of an independent and impartial judiciary. It is already a well-known fact for all of us that judicial independence is the pre-requisite for the assurance of fundamental rights and freedoms.
The internal condition of an effective constitutional jurisdiction requires that the constitutional courts embrace a rights-based paradigm (“in Turkish: hak eksenli paradigma”). It should be noted that the notion “hak” in Turkish composing the phrase ‘hak eksenli paradigma’ has two meanings, as is the case for the “right” the corresponding term in English. In Turkish, “hak” refers to “justice” on one hand, and to the “right, something to which a person is entitled” on the other. In this sense, “hak eksenli paradigma” necessitates the accordance and assurance of hak (referring to both justice and right) according to two meanings attributed to the notion.
In other words, this paradigm necessitates a judicial approach that aims at protecting fundamental rights and freedoms by securing constitutional justice, which is primarily conditional upon the internalisation of the rights-based approach by constitutional justices who compose a group interpreting constitutional provisions and laws. It should be borne in mind that justice may be secured only when those who will implement it are just and fair.
However, being just is not easy. That is why the German philosopher Nietzsche, regarding justice as “the rarest virtue”, states that no one has more of a right to our respect than he who possesses the drive and strength to justice as in it are joined and hidden all virtues. According to Nietzsche, “the hand of the just man who is competent to sit in judgment no longer trembles when it holds the scales”.5
His Excellency Mr. President,
I would like to proceed with a brief assessment as to the 60 years of the Turkish Constitutional Court, in the light of the above-cited conceptual explanations. If the date when the individual application mechanism was put into force, namely 23 September 2012, is considered as a constitutional milestone, we may classify the Court’s history into two periods, the first 50 years and the last 10 years.
Indeed, the classification of the history of constitutional jurisdiction into two separate periods is in keeping also with the will of the constitution-maker establishing the individual application mechanism. It is explicitly cited in the legislative intent of the respective constitutional amendment and the Report of the Parliamentary Constitutional Committee on the constitutional amendment proposal that individual application is a milestone in the Turkish constitutional jurisdiction.
The political will amending the Constitution has envisaged this mechanism as an institution that will entrust “the Constitutional Court with the protection and improvement of rights and freedoms”. Also in the report issued by the Parliamentary Constitutional Committee, it is indicated that the Constitutional Court so far perceived as a body “protecting the State and the system, in pursuit of the Statist understanding” will be considered as a tribunal “which from now on renders judgments in pursuit of, and affords protection to, the freedoms” with the introduction of individual application.
As envisaged by the constitution-maker, the Court has undergone an evident paradigm change with the introduction of individual application mechanism and thereby undertaken a mission that protects and improves fundamental rights and freedoms by adopting a rights-based approach. As a matter of fact, the Court has explicitly noted in its respective judgments that the rights-based approach must predominate over the constitutional jurisdiction and that the constitutional provisions would duly fulfil their functions only when they are interpreted through this approach.6
Besides, as a repercussion of the rights-based approach, the Court has stated in several judgments that the primary duty incumbent on the State is to protect fundamental rights and freedoms. According to the Court, “The duty incumbent on the State in democracies is to protect and improve fundamental rights and freedoms, as well as to take measures that would secure the effective exercise thereof”.7
On the other hand, in endeavouring to protect fundamental rights and freedoms, the Turkish Constitutional Court does not set aside the security concern. In this sense, it has stressed that fundamental rights and freedoms are not, with certain exceptions, absolute and may be subject to restrictions on grounds of public interest, public order and safety as well as for the protection of others’ rights and freedoms, as laid down in the Constitution. The Court strikes a delicate balance notably between public safety and freedoms. In this sense, it strives, for securing the justice, to put everything in its place as expressed several centuries ago by Mevlânâ Jelaleddin Rumi.8
His Excellency Mr. President,
In the first speech I delivered exactly 7 years ago in this hall during the conference, which was held on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the Court and at which we were honoured by your participation, I expressed that the Court was just at the very beginning of the process for a paradigm change, that there was a long way to be taken, and that this transition period must be completed and implemented in a consistent manner. This expression is also the reflection of the ultimate goal sought to be attained by the Constitutional Court under our chairmanship.
At this very stage, I would like to express my satisfaction that the paradigm change initiated upon the individual application mechanism has been fulfilled to a significant extent that would also cover the constitutionality review. Employing its rights-based approach, the Turkish Constitutional Court has issued and continues to issue, in the processes of both constitutionality review and individual application, decisions and judgments which would shape and steer the Turkish legal practice. These decisions and judgments have aligned the legal order with the Constitution on one hand, and expanded the protection realm of the fundamental rights and freedoms, thereby raising the standards thereof, on the other.
The rights-based paradigm adopted by the Court has led to the interpretation of the constitutional provisions in pursuit of fundamental rights and freedoms. We may say that it has been applied in two ways in practice. The first of them is the more liberal approach adopted, following the predominance of this new paradigm, with respect to constitutional principles concerning the state structure and functioning such as separation of powers, state governed by rule of law, secularism and democratic state. Secondly, the constitutional provisions pertaining to fundamental rights and freedoms have been interpreted in a way that would expand the scope of the protection afforded to these rights and freedoms. It should be, however, noted that in interpreting the constitutional principles and provisions by adopting a rights-based approach, the Constitutional Court has meticulously abstained from engaging in judicial activism as well as behaviours and conducts exclusive to juristocracy which would call into question its legitimacy.
At this stage, let me make a reference to certain decisions and judgments of the Court to provide an insight into the repercussions of this rights-based paradigm on the interpretation of constitutional principles and provisions.
It may be reasonably said that the paradigm transformation in the Turkish constitutional jurisdiction started with the liberal interpretation of the principle of secularism. In one of its decisions that the Constitutional Court rendered only three days before the entry into operation of individual application mechanism, namely on 20 September 2012, it abandoned its understanding of positivist secularism which had been until that period predominated by judicial paradigm and had a function that rather justified the prohibitions. The Court instead preferred a more flexible and liberal interpretation of secularism safeguarding freedom of religion and conscience.
The Court has stated in this decision that the principle of secularism does not confine religion solely to the inner world of the individual, as well as allows for and secures the manifestation of religion and faith in community. As stated by the Court, in a secular political system, the individual preferences as to religious issues and the choice of lifestyle steered accordingly are under the State’s protection but must be exempt from any interference of the State… One of the primary objectives of a democratic and secular state is to establish and maintain a legal and political order where individuals and communities may live together in peace and harmony with their own faiths and beliefs, by means of preserving social diversity”.9
In line with its rights-based interpretation of secularism, the Court found constitutional the teaching of “the Quran” and “the Life of the Prophet Muhammad” as an elective course in the secondary and high schools. On the basis of the same approach, the Court did not find the disputed statutory provision, which vested the provincial and district offices of mufti with the authority to perform a marriage ceremony by offering an option to the individuals with respect thereto, in breach of secularism. The Court concluded that the disputed provision, to the contrary, exercised a protective function in terms of freedom of religion and conscience by means of facilitating the holding of the religious ceremony of marriage.10
Probably the most explicit repercussion of the Court’s liberal interpretation of secularism may be found in the individual application judgments where the bans on wearing headscarf were found to constitute a violation. Pursuant to the rights-based interpretation of secularism pursued by the Court, the headscarf worn by women in accordance with their religious faith is under the protection afforded by the freedom of religion and conscience enshrined in Article 24 of the Constitution. Accordingly, in the case where the applicant, a lawyer, was asked to leave the court room for wearing headscarf, the Court found violations of the freedom of religion and prohibition of discrimination.11
Likewise, violations of the freedom of religion and the right to education have been found in a case where a student, who had been dismissed from the university due to the headscarf ban, was ordered to repay the scholarship she had received. In both judgments, the Court found violations, specifying that the fundamental rights and freedoms could be restricted only by law, that there was no statutory provision banning the headscarf, and that the previous decisions of neither the Constitutional Court nor the European Court of Human Rights could be considered as a legal basis for the said bans.12
In addition, in the Court’s view, the State should not intervene in the internal conflicts of a minority community regarding the election of their religious leader, in the absence of a pressing social need. In the individual application lodged in this regard, the rejection of the election request of a group within the religious community by the administration was considered to have amounted to a violation of the applicants' freedom of religion.13
In brief, the Constitutional Court, adopting a rights-based approach, interpreted secularism as a constitutional principle, which excludes the practices prohibiting a certain belief or its exercise, as well as the interventions forcing persons to do so, and which also ensures that people can freely exercise their religious beliefs without being exposed to any obstacles. Hence, the principle of secularism, which was previously relied on to justify the restriction of fundamental rights and freedoms, has been interpreted and applied, in the new period, as a guarantor of these rights and freedoms.
The same also applies to the principle of a democratic state. The Constitutional Court has interpreted, through a rights-based approach, both the principle of a democratic state enshrined in Article 2 of the Constitution and the notion of "requirements of the democratic order of the society", which is specified as a criterion for restriction in Article 13 thereof. According to the Court, democracy necessitates a legal and political order that guarantees the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals in the broadest sense.
In a democratic legal order, freedom is essential, whereas limitation is an exception. As frequently stressed by the Court, notably in terms of freedom of expression, “the notion of requirements of the democratic order of the society, which is enshrined in Article 13 of the Constitution, requires that any restriction on a constitutional freedom be imposed as a compulsory or an exceptional measure, and that it must be the last resort or the last measure to be taken”.14
His Excellency Mr. President,
The Constitutional Court, in addition to making a liberal interpretation of the constitutional principles, has also interpreted the constitutional provisions regarding fundamental rights in a way expanding the protection realm of these principles. For instance, while Article 38 of the Constitution embodies no express regulation allowing for the retroactive application of more lenient criminal provisions, the Court has concluded, through a rights-based interpretation, that more lenient regulations should be applied retroactively.15
Similarly, although the principle of not to be tried or punished twice for the same offence (ne bis in idem) is not explicitly laid down in the Constitution, the Court has considered this principle as an element inherent in the right to a fair trial enshrined in Article 36 of the Constitution and accordingly pointed to the relevant constitutional principles.16 In the same vein, in its recent decisions, the Court has concluded that the guarantees inherent in the right to acquire a public office stipulated in Article 70 of the Constitution shall be applicable not only during the initial acquisition of a public office, but also while holding and leaving the public office.17
Besides, the Court has rendered very important judgments which have ensured, inter alia, the effective protection of the freedoms of expression and the press, the right to hold meetings and demonstration marches, the right to strike, the right to form a union, rights to have a collective agreement and collective bargaining, prevented expropriation on the basis of unrealistic values and confiscation without expropriation, and annulled the provisions incompatible with the State’s positive obligations in terms of the protection of the environment and cultural property.
Undoubtedly, it would get beyond the limits of this speech, if I addressed all the judgments pointing out the paradigmatic transformation experienced in the last 10 years. Therefore, without testing your patience, I would just like to express that there is hardly any segment of the society or legal issue that has not been addressed by the constitutional principles developed within the scope of the case-law established and developed within this period.
As a matter of fact, the Court has issued judgments protecting the constitutional rights and freedoms of almost every segment of the society, from women and children to parents, from journalists and politicians to artists, from employees, retired persons and business persons to labour unionists, and from convicts and immigrants to religious minorities. In some of these judgments, the Court has also addressed the events and cases that have borne significant consequences for the social, economic and political status as well as the security of our country, and has adjudicated individual applications and requests for interim measure received in this scope.
In brief, within the period of last 10 years, any constitutional problem discussed worldwide and at national level, has also been on the Court’s agenda. The Court has set out the principles for any issues faced by the individuals in their daily lives regarding their fundamental rights and freedoms; and any legal issue on the country's agenda has been, in some way, the subject of the Court's judgment.
Through its judgments, a few of which I have mentioned above, in this period, the Constitutional Court has turned into a tribunal adopting a liberal perspective predicated upon the rights-based paradigm, as intended by the constitution-maker.
His Excellency Mr. President,
The rights-based paradigm put into practice by the Turkish Constitutional Court is a model of good practice and a success story. Moreover, in consideration of the fact that such a revolution has taken place in spite of the extraordinary situations and difficulties experienced by our country in the last 10 years, it may be well understood how great the said achievement is.
In this regard, particular stress should be laid on the conditions of the state of emergency declared after the coup attempt of 15 July 2016. The Court has coped with a highly excessive and unreasonable number of individual applications, which has exceeded 100.000, regarding the measures taken, on one hand, and legal issues of complex nature having ongoing effects, on the other.
In this period, the Court has set the basic principles regarding the constitutional review of any interference with fundamental rights and freedoms, and scrutinised the structuring of the FETÖ/PDY. Within the framework of these basic principles and procedures, the Court has rendered judgments regarding many measures taken during the state of emergency period, such as detention, cancellation of passport, the reliance on the data obtained from the ByLock program as evidence, and dismissal from public office.
Along with the legal problems that arose during the state of emergency period, there have also been difficulties stemming from the interpretation and implementation of the new constitutional institutions that have been put into practice with the constitutional amendments of 2017. The Court has determined the basic principles and procedures by interpreting the constitutional provisions of complex nature in a systematic integrity, regarding notably the constitutionality review of Presidential decrees, which has no precedent in the constitutional jurisdiction practice, and has adjudicated some of the cases brought before it.
Meanwhile, the Court has closely followed the developments around the world, constantly exchanged information and experience with other constitutional courts and regional courts of human rights courts in the international arena, and availed of the opportunity to elucidate its rights-based approach in various meetings. In this scope, I would like to touch briefly two international formations that started operating in the sphere of constitutional jurisdiction with the initiative of the Court.
First, the process starting with the meeting held in Dolmabahçe, İstanbul on 14 December 2018 with the participation and support of your Excellency, was concluded with the "Bandung Declaration" issued in Indonesia in September last year, thus the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of OIC Member States was established. The inaugural congress of the Conference will be held in İstanbul at the end of this year, thereby the process will be completed where it started.
As for the second initiative, we will not have to wait until the end of the year to conclude it. We will negotiate the declaration on the establishment of the Conference of Constitutional Jurisdictions of the Member States of the Organisation of Turkic States (TÜRK-AY), in which member/observer states of the Organisation of Turkic States may participate, in Dolmabahçe on 27 April 2022. I wish that these two international formations will be auspicious and make significant contributions to our cooperation and solidarity in the field of constitutional jurisdiction.
The Constitutional Court has successfully fulfilled the duties conferred upon it despite all the difficulties and arduous situations it has encountered during a quite painful process. I believe that the objective future studies on this period of the Turkish constitutional jurisdiction will appreciate this. Taking this opportunity, I would like to extend my thanks to all our members, especially our Vice Presidents, Justices and rapporteur-judges, who have contributed to the Court by working devotedly during this process and who are the architects of the aforementioned success story.
His Excellency Mr. President,
As is known, what is as important as the change itself and even more important than it is its maintenance. The Constitutional Court holds the will and experience to achieve this. In addition, I would like to express that the Constitutional Jurisdiction Research Centre (AYAM) was established in 2018 within the Court with the objective of taking advantage of the academic experience in the field of constitutional jurisdiction and, in a sense, to establish a bridge between theory and practice. I believe that AYAM has made and will continue making significant contributions to the Court’s interaction with the legal world and to the promotion of rights-based jurisprudence through the scientific meetings it has organised, such as the present symposium, as well as the publications it has issued.
Besides, as you would appreciate, as in other areas, the secure of justice as well as the protection of fundamental rights also necessitate "division of functions and cooperation" among the legislature, executive and judiciary, which is specified in the Preamble of the Constitution.
I have to point out that such a cooperation is of particular necessary in dealing with the workload regarding individual applications. Indeed, on every occasion, I reiterate that unfortunately, the Court has encountered the heaviest workload in its 60-year history. There are many pending cases before the Court falling within almost all its respective jurisdictions such as the constitutionality review, the individual application, the proceedings it has carried out in its capacity as the Supreme Criminal Court, and the dissolution of political parties.
In particular, there has been a great increase in the number of individual applications. Currently, the number of applications pending before the Court is around 95,000. The Court endeavours to overcome a heavy workload that cannot be compared with those of the constitutional courts in other countries where the individual application mechanism operates as well, and even with the European Court of Human Rights.
The Court endeavours to take new measures to promote the individual application mechanism it has established, thereby rendering it more effective, and exerts a significant effort to adjudicate the applications. As a matter of fact, nearly 80 percent of the applications received since 2012 have been adjudicated, and especially in the last two years, 45.000 applications have been concluded on a yearly basis.18
As we have expressed on every occasion, the most efficient way to reduce this heavy workload is to eliminate the source of the violations. In other words, the statutory provisions as well as administrative or judicial decisions found to have resulted in violations by the Constitutional Court should be annulled. Thus, similar further individual applications and violations may be prevented.
Transferring the individual application mechanism, which has been a great achievement for the Turkish legal system, to the next generations as an efficient and effective remedy is dependent upon the efforts on the part of all public institutions, real and legal persons, in other words, all of us.
As a result, the division of functions and cooperation in terms of the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms will contribute to the fortification of a democratic political order where power is allied with justice, the rule of law is ensured, people live in peace, happiness and prosperity, and human-society-state relations are maintained in a sound and balanced manner. Such a cooperation will also facilitate our getting closer to the goal of exceeding the level of contemporary civilization, which was pointed out by the founder of the Turkish Republic, Ghazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and which is specified in the Constitution.
His Excellency Mr. President,
Before ending my speech, I would like to commemorate our late retired members. I also wish good health and prosperity to all members of the Court.
I wish that the Symposium on “Interpretation of the Constitution in the Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms” we have organized on the occasion of the Court’s 60th anniversary be fruitful and successful. I would like to express my thanks to our distinguished jurist from the European Court of Human Rights, to our academicians, especially to the Presidents of the Court of Cassation and the Council of State, who will moderate the sessions, and to all participants and those who have contributed to the organization of this Symposium.
Lastly, I wish that the “Constitutional History Gallery”, which we will open shortly after, will be beneficial to both our Court and our country. Our aim through this project is to introduce our constitutional history as well as the developments achieved in terms of the constitutional jurisdiction, pointing out their milestones, from the Charter of Alliance (Sened-i İttifak) until today. I hope that the information and documents exhibited in the Gallery will be of interest and beneficial to especially our guests from abroad and the university students within the country. Taking this opportunity, I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who has contributed to the intensive preparation process.
Once again, I would like to express my gratitude for your participation in our anniversary, and I extend my wishes of health and prosperity to all of you.
|Prof. Dr. Zühtü ARSLAN
|Constitutional Court of the Republic of Türkiye
1 Molla Câmi, Baharistan, 2nd Edition, Trans. Adnan Karaismailoğlu, (Ankara: Akçağ Yayınları, 2018), pp. 47, 48.
2 Blaise Pascal, Pensées, Trans. J. Warrington, (London: Everyman’s Library, 1960), 192 [411-298], p.53.
3 A. Izetbegović, Doğu Batı Arasında İslam (Islam between East and West), 3rd Edition, Trans. S. Şaban, (İstanbul: Klasik Yayınları, 2015), p. 299.
4 Babanzâde İ. Hakkı, Hukuk-ı Esasiye (1913), Prep. by F. Balcıoğlu and A. B. Balcıoğlu, (Ankara: Erguvanî Yayınevi, 2014), p. 334.
5 Friedrich Nietzsche, Tarihin Yaşam İçin Yararı ve Sakıncası (On the Advantage and Disadvantage of History for Life) 6th Edition, Trans. M. Tüzel, (İstanbul: İş Bankası Yayınları, 2021), pp. 42, 43.
6 Ali Kuş [Plenary], no. 2017/27822, 10 February 2022, § 50.
7 Constitutional Court’s decision, no. E.2016/165, K.2017/76, 15 March 2017, § 17.
8 Mevlânâ Celâleddin-i Rûmî, Mesnevî-i Ma’nevî, Book VI, Trans. D. Örs and H. Kırlangıç, Edition III, (İstanbul: Türkiye Yazma Eserler Kurumu Yayınları, 2015), 2597, p. 866.
9 Constitutional Court’s decisions no. E.2012/65, K.2012/128, 20 September 2012 and no. E.2017/180, K.2018/109, 06 December 2018, § 13.
10 Constitutional Court’s decision no. E.2017/180, K.2018/109, 06 December 2018, § 26.
11 Tuğba Arslan [Plenary], no. 2014/256, 25 June 2014.
12 Tuğba Arslan, § 98; Sara Akgül [Plenary], no. 2015/269, 22 November 2018, § 103.
13 Levon Berç Kuzukoğlu and Ohannes Garbis Balmumciyan [Plenary], no. 2014/17354, 22 May 2019.
14 See Bekir Coşkun [Plenary], no. 2014/12151, 4 June 2015, § 51; Mehmet Ali Aydın [Plenary], no. 2013/9343, 4 June 2015, § 68.
15 Constitutional Court’s decision no. E.2019/9, K.2019/27, 11 April 2019, §§ 13-20; Constitutional Court’s decision no. E.2020/81, K.2021/4, 14 January 2021, §§ 20-25.
16 Ünal Gökpınar [Plenary], no. 2018/9115, 27 March 2019, § 50; Constitutional Court’s decision no. E.2019/4, K.2021/78, 04 November 2021.
17 Constitutional Court’s decision no. E.2021/104, K.2021/87, 11 November 2021; Constitutional Court’s decision no. E.2020/77, K.2021/93, 16 December 2021.
18 Statistics are available at https://www.anayasa.gov.tr/media/7946/bb_2022-1_tr.pdf.