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Turkey’s Difficult Journey to DemocracyTwo Steps Forward, One Step Back$
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Ilter Turan

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199663989

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199663989.001.0001

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The Rise and Fall of the Military as a Political Force

The Rise and Fall of the Military as a Political Force

(p.110) 5 The Rise and Fall of the Military as a Political Force
Turkey’s Difficult Journey to Democracy

İlter Turan

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes the changing role of the military in Turkish politics from guardian to accepting civilian supremacy. Street violence and ineffective coalitions brought another military intervention in 1980. To remove the need for future interventions, the commanders tried to transform the political system, with restricted space for electoral politics, a depoliticized society, and constitutional arrangements granting the military direct instruments to influence the political process such as the MGK (National Security Council). In 1997–1998, the military forced the coalition led by the Welfare Party (RP) to first adopt new secularist educational measures, and later to resign. The rise of AKP (Justice and Development Party) in 2001, its solid electoral victories since, and the political and economic stability the country has enjoyed have enabled the government to challenge successfully the military’s political role, and take to court top officers for having planned anti-government conspiracies.

Keywords:   military’s political roles, 1980 military intervention, MGK, National Security Council, RP, Welfare Party, AKP, Justice and Development Party

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