Democratic Control and Military Effectiveness of the Turkish Armed Forces



Adopting a strategic relational approach, this chapter shows how—despite Turkey’s unfavorable initial conditions—external pressures differentially empowering civilians provided resources these civilians needed to break the stabilizing mechanisms of path-dependence in civil-military relations. The ability of civilians to overcome path-dependence were enhanced by over a decade of rule by a stable majority government with a strong will to erode the political clout of the military. Having successfully defanged the Turkish military and consolidated its hold on power, the civilian leadership’s interest in defense and military reform has, however, faded in the last few years. In addition to second-generation problems of constructing effective civilian-led defense policy-making with broader civil society input, as well as strengthening legislative oversight, Turkey today also faces the twin challenges of restoring the morale and corporate esteem of the officers and rebuilding a working relationship between military and civilian leaders based on mutual trust.


European Union Military Officer North Atlantic Treaty Organization General Staff National Security Council 
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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International RelationsIstanbul Gedik UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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