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About Me

Professor Dr. iur. Osman Can

osman.can@marmara.edu.tr

BIOGRAPHY 

Following completion of his four-year Bachelor’s degree in Law at the University of Ankara in 1992, Prof. Dr. Osman CAN began his academic career as a research assistant at the University of Erzincan in 1993. 

In 1997 he earned his master’s degree after graduating from the University of Cologne, Germany, following defense of his thesis titled “The Legal Status of President of the States in Turkish and German Constitutional Law”. 

It was the year 2000 when he received a doctoral degree at public law from the University of Cologne after submitting his thesis on “The Constitutional Limits of Freedom of Thought”.  

In 2001 he began to work as an assistant professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Erzincan, Law School.

In July 2002, he was appointed to the Constitutional Court as a rapporteur-judge. Throughout the time course that was considered to be the most turbulent period of Turkey’s political history, he was assigned cases which made him work on the to the most critical constitutional problems.

In 2003, he founded the Turkish-German Forum for Public Law and became the coordinator a the Turkish side.

He conducted researches on individual applications (constitutional complaints) and fundamental rights at universities in Frankfurt, Cologne and Erlangen and also at the Federal Constitutional Court (of Germany).

He worked as a visiting professor at Max-Planck-Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C.

His constitutional statements on trade unions and the civil servants’ right to strike were accepted by the Constitutional Court and became the Court’s jurisprudence.

He was a rapporteur-judge in the dissolution cases of political parties such as TSIP (a socialist opposition party) and DEHAP (a Kurdish opposition party). He drafted a report based on the view that the cases concerning political parties required a sociological, political and legal analysis and therefore contributed to the prevention of the prospective dissolutions.

Professor Can was also the rapporteur-judge for Constitutional Court’s judgments that cleared the way for privatisation in 2005. So the privatisation of ports and Turk Telekom in particular became feasible.

He was granted the title of “associate professor” with his habilitation thesis “The Democratizations Process and Closing of Political Parties in Turkey” in 2006; and the title of “professor” in 2013, both by unanimous decision of the Science Jury within Council of Higher Education.

He was appointed as the rapporteur-judge for the application filed at the Constitutional Court for the annulment of the constitutional amendment which aimed to resolve the presidential election crisis that emerged in 2007. The Court decided in line with his opinion and for the first time in Turkey’s history, it became possible for the President to be elected by people’s vote.

In 2008 he was appointed to the dissolution case of AK Party and he brought forward an opinion against dissolution. The party was not dissolved. His opinions stated in his report has unanimously been adapted as the Court’s resolution.

In 2010, he acted as a co-founder of the association “Democratic Judiciary”, an association calling for the impartiality and plurality of the judiciary. It was the same year when Lawyers Association honored him as the “Jurist of the Year”.

During the eight years he served on the Constitutional Court, a big majority of his opinions (with one specific exception: the opinion that the constitutional amendment which was freeing the use of headscarves at universities was not supposed to be annuled) were adopted by the Constitutional Court became jurisprudence.

In October 2010 he resigned from the Constitutional Court and returned to the university.

In July 2011, he started to teach at the Department of Constitutional Law, University of Marmara.

He drafted a legal and intellectual framework and also took place in the formation of the New Constitution Platform which played a significant role in persuading the political actors about the necessity of a new constitution by gathering with them and also the actors of civil society. He conducted the constitutional reporting projects and expressed opinions for several organizations. Through the years 2011 to 2012, he mentored the Project “Turkey is Talking” which was being conducted upon request of the TGNA.

In 2011 he receieved the “Thinker of the year” award given by Writers Union of Turkey.

Between the years 2004-2015 he wrote for newspapers Radical (2), Star, Evening, Turkey Newsweek and the Daily morning newspapers as a columnist and aired open discussions on 360 TV, Kanal 24 and TRT News.

Between 2012 and 2015, he accepted the invitation made for him to contribute to the “New Constitution” and took place in the AK Party CDAC. In the elections held on 7 June 2015, he was elected as a 25th-term Istanbul Deputy to the Turkish Grand National Assembly. However, in time, “the new constitution” ceased to be the primary agenda and this was followed by disagreement in principle, he abandoned active politics and returned to his academic studies.

Between 2014 and 2018, he was a member of the Venice Commission (Democracy Through Law), Council of Europe. At the meeting in December 2015, he was elected as the Vice President of the Scientific Council. He advised and drafted opinions on democracy and law in countries of the Council of Europe and OSCE.

Currently, besides teaching undergraduate, graduate and doctorate courses at University of Marmara, Faculty of Law, Department of Constitutional Law and carrying out his scientific studies; he is also drafting legal opinions upon request for national and international judicial disputes. In addition, he reports at the macro level based on politics, law and economic analysis.

He has published books and articles at national and international level. He is fluent in Turkish, German and English.

(ORCHID ID: 0000-0002-1045-9136)

AREAS OF INTEREST

Constitutional Law, Organisational Law, Constitutional Theory, Fundamental Rights and Freedoms, Political Parties, Constitutional Jurisdiction.

  • SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Books

  • Die Schranken der Meinungsäußerungsfreiheit nach türkischem Verfassungsrecht” (Limits of freedom of expression in turkish constitutional law), Shaker Verlag, Aachen 2001.
  • “Demokratikleşme Serüveninde Anayasa ve Siyasi Partilerin Kapatılması” (Constitution and Closure of Political Parties in Period of Democratisation), Seckin Verlag, Ankara 2005
  • Darbe Yargısının Sonu (The End of Coup d’Etat Justice), Timas Yay., Istanbul 2010
  • Yol Ayrımında Türkiye, Statükodan Önceki Son Çıkış  (Turkey at Crossroads, Last Exit Before Status quo), Timas Yay., Istanbul 2012
  • Anayasanın Değiştirilemez Maddeleri ve Demokratik Kuruculuk (Inalterable Provisions of the Constitution and Democratic Constitution-Making), Alfa Yay, Istanbul 2013

Articles 

  • “Unabhängigkeit der Richter in der Türkei – juristische und metajuristische Perspektive” (Independence of Judges in Turkey – Legal and Metajuristic Perspective) in: Die Schweizer Richterzeitung (2006/2)
  • “Parteiverbote in der Türkei-Instrument einer wehrhaften Demokratie? Jahrbuch des öffentlichen Rechts (JöR) 2011, s. 635-663
  • Das Türkische Verfassungsgericht als Wächter der Raison d’Etat” Zeitschrift des Max-Planck-Instituts für europäische Rechtsgeschichte, Band 18 (2011).
  • “Yargı Bağımsızlığı Normatif Bir Sorun mu?” (Is the Independence of Judiciary a Normative Matter?), Bülent Tanör Armağanı (In honour of  Prof Bülent Tanör), Istanbul 2006.
  • “Yasadışı Grevin Anayasal Konumu” (“The Constitutional Status of Illegal Strike”), Özgürlükler Düzeni Olarak Anayasa (Constitution as an Order of Freedoms) – Fazıl Sağlam Armağanı (In honour of  Prof Fazıl Sağlam), Ankara 2006.
  • “Demokrasiye Geçişte ‘Sivil Anayasa’ ya da ‘Gül’ün Yalnızca Adı mı Değişiyor?” (“Civil Constitution in Transition to Democracy / Is It Just A Change in the Name Gül?”) Ankara Barosu Dergisi, 2007/3.
  • “Kutsallar ve Düşünce Özgürlüğü” (“The Sacred Ones and the Freedom of Thought”), CHD (Ceza Hukuku Dergisi), Aralık 2007.
  • “Anayasa Yargısında Yokluk” (“Nullity in Constitutional Jurisdiction”), Ergun Özbudun Armağanı, C II, Ankara 2008
  • “Merkez-Yerel Yönetimlerin Grev ve Yetki Paylaşımına Anayasal Bakış” (“A Constitutional View of Power Sharing Between Central and Local Authorities”), A. Ülkü Azrak Armağanı (In honour of Prof Ülkü Azrak), İstanbul 2008
  • “1982 Anayasasının Temel Haklar Bilânçosu ve Evrimi” (“Balance Sheet of Fundamental Rights in the Constituton of 1982 and its Evolution”), A. Ülkü Azrak Armağanı (In honour of Prof Ülkü Azrak), İstanbul 2008
  • “Kamu Sendikacılığında Anayasal Güvence ve Yasal Güvencesizlik” (“Constutitonal Guarantee and Legal Precarity in Public Syndicalism”), Yılmaz Aliefendioğlu Armağanı (In honour of Prof Yılmaz Aliefendioğlu) , İstanbul 2008
  • “Hukuku Özgürlükle Okumak yada TCK 301 Ne İşe Yarar? (“Reading Law Through Freedom / What Does Turkish Criminal Code – Article 301 Do?,”), Güncel Hukuk 2007/1.
  • “İHAS Fetişizmi ve Anayasanın Ölçü Değerini Yitirmesi” (“The ECtHR Fetischism and the Constitution’s Losing its Standard Setting Value”), in: Hukuk Gündemi Dergisi 2006/1.
  • “Yargı Bağımsızlığı ya da Titanlar Savaşı“ (“The Independence of Judiciary or a Clash of Titans ”), in: Güncel Hukuk 2006/5.
  • “Vicdani Redde Anayasal Bakış” (“A Constitutional View of Conscientious Objection”), in: Hukuk Gündemi 2006/3.
  • “Anayasa Değişikliklerinin Yokluğu ya da Kadüklüğü Üzerine” (“On Nullity or Caducousness of Constitutional Amendments”), Güncel Hukuk 2007/9.
  • Can, Osman; Simsek Aktas, Duygu. (May 2017) Olağanüstü Hal Dönemi Kanun Hükmünde Kararnamelerin Yargısal Denetimi Üzerine (On the Judicial Review of Statutory Decrees Under State of Emergency). Marmara Üniversitesi Hukuk Fakültesi Hukuk Araştırmaları Dergisi (Marmara University Law School Journal of Legal Studies), Volume 23, Issue 1, Pages 13-43
  • Can, Osman; Simsek Aktas, Duygu. (September 2018) Yasama Sorumsuzluğunun İşlevsizleştirilmesi (Disabling Non-Liability as a Parliamentary Immunity). Terazi Hukuk Dergisi (Terazi Journal of Law), Volume 13, Issue 145, Pages 61-72.
  • Can, Osman; Simsek Aktas, Duygu. (April 2019) Venedik Komisyonu Raporları Işığında Anayasa’nın Geçici 20. Maddesi ve Yasama Dokunulmazlığı – Enis Berberoğlu Kararı (Provisional Article 20 of the Constitution and Parliamentary Immunity in Light of the Reports of the Venice Commission – The Enis Berberoglu Case). Ord. Prof. Dr. Ali Fuad Başgil’in Anısına Armağan içinde (in Honor of Ord. Prof. Dr. Ali Fuad Basgil), Pages 417-464 .

Chapters in Books of Professional Field

  • Auslegung der Verfassung und Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit in der Türkei (Interpretation of Constitution and Constitutional Judiciary in Turkey), in: Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatsrechtslehre I, Lit Vlg., 2004.
  • “Schutz der Staatlichen Ehre und der religiösen Gefühle in der Türkei”, (Türkiye’de Devlet Onurunun ve Dinsel Duyguların Korunması) (Protection of the State Dignity and Religous Feelings in Turkey), in: Der Schutz der Meinungsfreiheit vor dem Heiligen / Unabhängigkeit der Justiz, Münster-Berlin-Wien-Zürich-London 2008.
  • “The Turkish Constitutional Court as a Defender of the Raison d’Etat” in: Constitutionalism in Islamic Countries: Between Upheaval and Continuity, Oxford University Press, London-New York 2011, 259-278.
  • “Conscientious Objection and the Turkish Constitution” in: Cinar/Usterci (Eds.), Conscientious Objection, Resisting Militarized Society, Zed Books, London-New York 2009, 227-241.
  • “Siyasi Partilerin Kapatılmasında Anayasal Ölçütler” (“Constitutional Criteria on Closure of Political Parties”), in: Anayasa Yargısı İncelemeleri, Ankara 2006.
  • Hukuk-Özgürlük-301 (Law-Freedom-301), İfade Özgürlüğü, İlkeler ve Türkiye (Freedom of Expression, Principles and Turkey), İletişim Yay., İstanbul 2007

Editorship in Books of Professional Field

  • Verfassungsinterpretation-Öffentlichkeit der Verwaltung (Interpretation of the Constitution – Transparency of Administration), Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatsrechtslehre I, Depenheuer/Dogan/Can (Eds), Lit Vlg. 2004
  • Zwischen Saekularitaet und Laizismus (Between Secularity and laicism), Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatsrechtslehre II, Depenheuer/Dogan/Can (Eds), Lit Vlg. 2005
  • Auf dem Weg zu gemeinsamen europäischen Grundrechtsstandards (Towards a European Common Standard of Fundamental Rights), Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatsrechtslehre III, Depenheuer/Dogan/Can (Eds), Lit Vlg. 2007
  • Freiheit im Zeitalter des Terrorismus / Verfassungsbeschwerde (Freedom in the age of terrorism) – Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatsrechtslehre IV, Depenheuer/Dogan/Can (Eds), Lit Vlg., Münster 2006
  • Umgang mit religiösen Minderheiten / Übertragung von Hoheitsrechten im Spannungsverhältnis zur nationalen Souvärenität (State of Religious Minorities / Transferring of Sovereign Authorities with Respect to National Sovereignty), Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatslehre V, Depenheuer/Dogan/Can (Ed.), Lit Vlg., 2006.
  • Özgürlükler Düzeni olarak Anayasa-Verfassung als Freiheitsorgnung (Consitution as Freedom Order) Fazıl Sağlam’a Armağan (In honour of Prof Fazıl Sağlam), Can/Azrak/Sabuncu/Depenheuer/Sachs (Eds.) İmaj Yay., Ankara 2006
  • Der Schutz staatlicher Ehre und religiöser Gefühle und die Unabhaengigkeit der Justiz (Protection of Staate Honor and religious feelings and Independency of the Judiciary), Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatsrechtslehre VI, Scherzberg/Dogan/Can (Eds), Lit Vlg. 2008.
  • Staatliche Finanzmarktregulierung und Eigentumschutz, Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatsrechtslehre VII, Scherzberg/Dogan/Can (Eds), Lit Vlg. 2010.
  • Das Recht der öffentlichen Unternehmen und der öffentlich-rechtlichen Banken (Public Enterprise Law and Public Bank Law), Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatsrechtslehre VIII, Scherzberg/Dogan/Can (Eds), Lit Vlg. 2012
  • Verfassungsgebung und Verfassungstheorie (Constitution Making and Constitutional Theory), Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatslehre IX, Scherzberg/Dogan/Can (Eds.), Lit Vlg. 2012.
  • Der Schutz der ethnischen Minderheiten in der Türkei und die Dezentralisation der Staatsorganisation (Protection of ethnic minorities in Turkey and Decentralisation of State Organisation), Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatslehre XIII, Scherzberg/Dogan/Can (Eds.), Lit Vlg. 2014.
  • Grundlagen der Selbstverwaltung (Fundamentals of Selfadministration), Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatslehre XIV, Scherzberg/Dogan/Can (Eds.), Lit Vlg. 2016.
  • Die Sicherung der Geldwert- und Finanzstabilitaet in Deutschland und in der Türkei, Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatslehre XV, Scherzberg/Dogan/Can (Eds.), Lit Vlg. 2016.
  • Regierungssysteme im Lichte von “Checks and Balances” (Governmental Systems in the Light of “Checks and Balances”), Deutsch-Türkisches Forum für Staatslehre XVI, Scherzberg/Dogan/Can (Eds.), Lit Vlg. 2016.

PAPERS PRESENTED IN

International Symposiums (Selection)

  • Eine Bilanz der Revolution aus menschenrechtlicher Perspektive, mit Beachtung der nichtmuslimischen Minderheiten. Revolution İslamischen Rechts: 80 Jahre schweizerisches ZGB in der Türkei, Fribourg-CH (21.10.2006)
  • Hukuk, Özgürlük ve TCK 301, Uluslararası Konferans: İfade Özgürlüğü- İlkeler ve Türkiye, SBF-Ankara, (30.11. -2.12.2006).
  • Vicdani Ret ve Anayasa, Uluslararası Vicdani Ret Konferansı, Istanbul (27-28.01.2007).
  • Schutz der Staatlichen Ehre und der religiösen Gefühle in der Türkei, Deutsch-Türkische Staatsrechtlertagung, Antalya (26-27.10.2007).
  • Anayasanın Değiştirilmez Hükümlerinin Değeri ve Denetimi, Bilkent Üniversitesi-Ankara, (11.11.2008)
  • Özelleştirmeler ve Anayasa: Bir Liberal Dönüşüm Serüveni Privatisations and the Constitution; A Journey of Liberal Transition), Uluslararası Ankara Barosu Hukuk Kurultayı, (January 2008)
  • Verfassungskrise und Verfassungsgerichtsbarkeit. Reformbedarf der Türkischen Verfassungsordnung, Berlin (13. 11.2008)
  • „Wirtschaft, Recht und soziale Gerechtigkeit in einem säkularen muslimischen Staat: der Fall der Türkei“, VIII. Völkerrechtskonferenz, Die national- und internationalrechtliche Verankerung der Prinzipien der Soz. Marktwirtschaft, Bonn (11-12.11.2010).
  • Türkei vor der Wahlen, Demokratisierung, Menschenrechte und Minderheiten, Berlin (31.5.2011)
  • Türk Anayasa Düzeninde İktidar Haritası: Felaketler, Dersler (Map of Power in Turkish Constitutional Order; Disasters and Lessons), Uluslararası Anayasa Kongresi, (22-23.10.2011)
  • Tutelage and Democratic Representation, Brussel, European Parliament Panel (20.3.2012)
  • Civil Constitution and the Governmental Models, Ajou University, South Korea (18.5.2012)
  • Constitutional Developments in Turkey, Southern University Baton Rouge, Louisiana – USA (23.9.2013)
  • Structural Changes Ahead of 2015 General Elections in Turkey, CEFTUS Westminster Debate, London-England (23.2.2015). 
  • Turkey at Crossroads of Fundamental Decisions: Constitutional Developments and the Future of Democracy in Turkey. University of Barcelona – Spain, (29.11.2016)
  • Majority – Opposition Interaction: The Turkish Experience. Bucharest – Romania, (07.04.2017)
  • The Constitution As An Instrument of Social Engineering. Astana – Kazakhstan, (29.08.2017)
  • Transitioning Towards a Presidential System under a State of Emergency (CEFTUS-RUSI Roundtable), London-England (9.10.2017)

RESEARCH GRANTS

1. Three-month research in Cologne, Germany by DAAD 

2. Three-month research in University of Erlangen by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

3. Three-month research in Frankfurt Max-Planck-Institute by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

4. Three-month research in Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington DC , USA

  • MEMBERSHIPS

Deutsch-Türkisches Staatsrechtlerforum (Turkish-German Forum for Public Law – Co-Founder)

Istanbul Bar Association