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The 26 November 1983 elections which ended the military administration did not ensure the swift return to democracy. Those who gained the right to rule the country after 26 November and the following general elections didn’t engage in the path of democratization. To them, ruling the country within the legal order of the 12th September Constitution was much easier.In spite of this situation, the opposition initiated by intellectuals and lawmakers gradually increased the demand for democracy. Civil society intensified its efforts to assemble. During this period the European Union, and European institutions in general( either formal or civilian) no doubt gave their support to the forces struggling for democracy in Turkey. However, it cannot be argued that such support was sufficient. The number of projects implemented using EU funds is very few. On the other hand, the tendency of EU and Member States officials to criticise human rights violations in Turkey on an ethnic basis was an inadequate approach to the democratization and human rights improvements issue. Human rights violations in Turkey do not solely concern the members of a specific ethnic group. And, among the NGOs, it is not only some “known” ones who are fighting to improve human rights in Turkey. This single-dimensioned approach occasionally has led the Turkish public opinion to react. No matter how far behind  civil society they stayed, political elites did not remain insensitive to civil requests for democratization and human rights improvement. From 1987 onwards, the 1982 Constitution was gradually amended towards more democratization.

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Zafer Uskul
Zafer Uskul
This issue was published in collaboration with AmCham Turkey.
From the Desk of the Editor TPQ’s Winter 2019/20 issue, published in collaboration with AmCham Turkey, titled A Long-Lasting Affinity: Acknowledging US-Turkey Ties, lays out how strong cultural, educational, and professional relationships across different sectors culminate in beneficial partnerships and success stories. Our dedicated readers will realize that this Winter issue is a continuation of our new brand TPQ...