The European Union's Impact on Turkey's pattern of civil-military relations
Thomas, Jordan K.
Leslie, John C.
Salmoni, Barak A.
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From the mid-1950s until 1997, civil-military relations in Turkey followed a distinct pattern. Friction between the armed forces and the civilian government led to a series of coup d'eÌ tats which then institutionalized greater political power for the military as the country transitioned back to a democracy. In essence, the seeds for subsequent interventions were planted by the previous coups. This happened in 1960, 1971, and 1980. This "friction, coup, power" pattern was sustained by the collective security environment during the Cold War. Turkey's "soft" coup of 1997 would produce different domestic results because the international environment had changed. Even though Turkey was a democracy and a NATO member, it did not qualify for EU membership because of the quality of its democracy. One of the measures was its failure to gain civilian control over the military. Beginning in 1998, the EU tied the status of Turkey's civil-military relations to its membership bid. In July and August of 2003, the Turkish Parliament ratified a series of legislation packages designed to curb the influence of the military. These institutional changes designed by the European Union represent only the first step in Turkey's attempt to gain democratic civilian control of its military.
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