This article problematizes the possibility of an overlapping consensus on the issue of social justice in Turkey. It is certain that creating a consensus on social justice in Turkey is very crucial considering the importance of social justice for securing the legitimacy of a state. In light of “justice as fairness” conceptualized by John Rawls who is an American political thinker, the issue of social justice in Turkey, with special reference to income distribution as well as regional disparities, is discussed and elaborated upon. It is argued in the study that in order for an overlapping consensus to emerge on social justice in Turkey, income inequalities as well as regional differences need to be minimalized. It is observed that Gini coefficient which measures the level of income inequality is relatively high in Turkey and also the relative share of the Eastern regions out of the GDP in Turkey is relatively low. In the article, it is argued that a popular consensus on social justice requires preserving the “social state” characteristics and qualities of the Turkish State which is mentioned in the Turkish Constitution. It is a reality that the state’s policies for protecting the disadvantaged groups in education, health and similar areas are very important for ensuring social justice. It is also emphasized in the article that a consensus on social justice would be a necessary requisite for establishing a consolidated democracy in Turkey. It is certain that a consolidated democracy requires both the existence of consolidated democratic institutions as well as a widespread conviction among the citizens that justice and democratic rule prevail in their country.
Social Justice, John Rawls, Justice as Fairness, Turkey