Self-estranged parliaments: lack of proactivity in times of public health crises

In contrast to having a robust parliamentary background and legacy, Turkey’s switch to presidential system had considerable repercussions on the historically rooted institutions including the Parliament, as the first constitutional institution in Ottoman-Turkish history limiting the prerogatives of the monarch. Despite its primary purpose of enacting laws, the Parliament could not to live up to its potential, especially in the field of public health and fundamental rights protection during the COVID19 pandemic. The lack of parliamentary initiative could be associated with its composition, the oppositions’ passiveness, the executive-legislative relations and eventually the regime shift. In these regards, the democratic backsliding in Turkey is reflected in the institutional erosion of the Parliament due to the 2017 constitutional amendments and the political context. However, ensuring separation of powers and functionalising checks and balances could reverse this institutional decay.