For the People, of the People and by the Military: The Regime Structure of Modern Turkey

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The arrival, and subsequent longevity, of the military in politics in much of the Middle East over the last 50 years or so has elicited considerable attention. This is, perhaps, particularly so in Turkey, where, since 1909, there has been only 10 years in which a fully civilian administration has governed. Recently, the collapse of the Kurdish Workers Party and the beginning of a process of constitutional amendment aimed at meeting EU accession criteria has sharpened the controversy over the role of the military in the Turkish polity. The aim of this paper is to contribute to this debate by analysing the methods through which military rule has been perpetuated since the Second World War. Using the work of the sociologists Eric Nordlinger and Michael Mann, I argue that two succinct regime strategies are discernible. The first - semi-authoritarian incorporation - was deployed throughout Turkey during the 1960s and 1970s. Following the 1980 coup, however, it existed alongside a second method - autocratic militarism - which emerged in south-east Anatolia. Thus, the primary purpose of this paper is to offer an explanation for the structure of these strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-685
Number of pages16
JournalPolitical Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003

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  • Global Development Institute


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