The Impact of EU Reform Process on Civil-Military Relations in Turkey
By Şule Toktaş & Ümit Kurt
SETA Policy Brief, No. 26, November 2008
The armed forces have always occupied a central place in Turkey’s political agenda. The EU reform process is contributing to a more democratic framework of civil-military relations. Nevertheless, although Turkey follows Democratic Control of the Armed Forces (DECAF), the military still influences civilian governments through various and innovative means. There seems a Turkish version of DECAF that grants a privileged position to the military in the making of security policy. The presidential elections had been a medium for both the military’s involvement in politics and the civilian reaction against this involvement. Civil society organizations, the media, and business circles alike gave significant support to the ruling AKP in its standoff with the military. It is only recently that resistance to the ‘regime guardianship’ role of the military has emerged.