Turkey in the triangle of the 1950-1960 era, the 1960 military coup, and the 1961 Constitution
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Turkey experienced military coups in 1960, 1971, and 1980. On the surface they appeared similar to coups in other countries. However, Turkey's experience differed from others in that contrary to other cases, in which coups were carried out to bring an end to democracy, Turkish military interventions claimed to be saving democracy. Moreover, while in some countries military governments ruled for long periods and in some others successive military interventions occurred, Turkey achieved its transition to democracy in a short period of time. This thesis examines three major events'the years between 1950 and 1960, the 1960 military coup, and the 1961 Constitution'in the history of the Turkish Republic in order to define their effects on the civil-military relations in Turkey. The thesis argues that a non-democratic action, the military coup, brought about creation of Turkey's most democratic constitution: the 1961 Constitution. Once involved in politics, however, the armed forces could not extricate themselves from politics until the beginning of the twenty-first century.
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