Turkey's civil-military relations in the fight against the PKK: how has this unconventional task affected the control-effectiveness balance?
Baylouny, Anne Marie
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The roles and missions of militaries around the world are expanding into new areas. This, inevitably, affects the existing concepts of civil–military relations, and forces us to rethink those concepts in light of new roles and missions for the military. These issues are pertinent particularly to recently democratized countries such as Turkey. Since its path to democratization in 1946, Turkey has endeavored to develop democratic civil–military relations. Starting in the 1980s, Turkey's civil–military relations have been particularly influenced by an internal security threat—the Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan (PKK). The Turkish governments have utilized a concerted action of the police and gendarmerie forces, affiliated under the Ministry of Interior, and the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) against this terrorist organization, with the Turkish Armed Forces as the leading actor. This thesis assesses the effects of the non-traditional roles and missions assigned to the TAF within this context on democratic civilian control. Even though there have been minor changes at the institutional level, the TAF's intense involvement in the fight against the PKK has created a cultural shift from confrontation to cooperation between the civilians and the soldiers, and thus has increased the level of cooperation. This harmony has provided the actors with an opportunity to lay firm foundations for democratic civilian control without provoking the TAF, and increased military effectiveness without creating a sense of threat over civilians still being haunted by memories of past coups.
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