Constitution making and democratic consolidation in Turkey
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Institutions and democratic statecraft
Constitution making, particularly in times of democratic transitions, is an excellent opportunity to build political institutions that will enjoy broad support from the society and its political elites. In Italy, the Constituent Assembly elected in 1946 was dominated by several major parties. While the Christian Democrats were the strongest party, the combined leftists' vote was higher than that of the Christian Democrats. The Turkish transition to democracy was accomplished with no constitutional revision whatsoever and only some changes in election, press, and association laws. The 1924 Constitution remained unchanged during the ten year period when the Democratic Party was in power. The National Unity Committee declared from the beginning its intention of making a new democratic constitution and returning power to a freely elected civilian government. The former Democrats, partly because they were totally excluded from the constitution-making process, voted against it in the constitutional referendum of July 9, 1961.