The Autocratic Legalism in the New Dual States

The conventional idea of the dual state presumes a two-winged authoritarian state mechanism that is based on the co-existence of “normative” and “prerogative” states (Fraenkel). This paper will draw attention to the similarities and differences in the political and legal anatomies of the current dual state cases of Russia and Turkey, and the German case of the 1930s. Emphasis will be placed on the changing character of contemporary prerogative states which are now more subtle and complex. Different from the case of the Third Reich, the current dual state practice is not associated with a prerogative state undermining the normative state. Instead, autocratic legalism (Scheppele), common in these practices, targets the nature of the normative state through its ideals to reconstruct the concept of legalism. This new framework gives rise to a new pathological formation of illiberal democracy in the current dual states.

“Native” and “National” Legalism in Turkey: “We do not need Istanbul Convention!”

The struggle of women in Turkey has entered a new term following the sudden withdrawal of Turkey from the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, i.e. the Istanbul Convention. Despite opinions that the midnight withdrawal caused shock among women's rights activists, the convention had been on the target of Turkish Government for some time. Briefly, the government was at the center of a campaign against Istanbul Convention claiming that the aim of the Convention was to promote homosexuality and establish a sexless society. Yet, the strategy of the government has not been to explicitly deny the rights governed by the Convention at all, but to replace the Convention with new “native” and “national” legal mechanisms in line with traditional Turkish cultural values. This paper will analyze how Turkey reconstructs legalism in this field, and undermines universal claims to women’s rights in order to consolidate the authoritarian transformation.

Authoritarian Dynamic and “Government Without Administration” in Combating Pandemic in Turkey

The measures taken within the scope of combating the COVID-19 pandemic brought also a process in many countries that could be called an “authoritarianism” pandemic. In Turkey, the measures taken since the beginning of the pandemic, violating many fundamental rights and freedoms without a legal basis, have been the subject of discussion in terms of the authoritarianism trend that has already been observed in Turkey in recent years. Some irrational, non-rights-based, non-transparent, discriminative measures are also brought a focus on the role and functioning of the administration in democracies. Therefore, the intertwining of political will and administration or the party identification in the administration after the 2017 Constitutional Amendments necessitates the evaluation of the concept of “government without administration” used by Jane Kaplan for Nazi Germany in terms of Turkey.