Turkey's Summer 2003 Legislative Reforms EU Avalanche, Civil-Military Revolution, or Islamist Assertion; Strategic Insights: v.2 issue 9 (September 2003)
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Turkey's government has recently enacted major constitutional reforms to render Turkey a more attractive candidate for full European Union membership in 2004. These reforms are the sixth and seventh in a series of harmonization packages enacted since February 2002 to conform to the EU's Copenhagen Criteria for accession, and they touch upon core elements of Turkey's political architecture. These include human rights, political expression, and--most importantly given Turkey's post-1960 political life--the structure and dynamics of civil-military relations. This document examines certain questions that arise from these reforms: are they indeed democratizing, and on the level of civil-military relations do the changes render Turkey more similar to Western Europe and the United States? Might alterations to civil-military dynamics contribute to a more mature, balanced form of Turkish civilian politics? What levers of political influence remain to the military? And, to the extent that these are democratizing reforms, what approaches are appropriate to a United States currently committed to regional democratization?
This article appeared in Strategic Insights (September 2003), v.2 no.9
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