'Europeanization' of the Turkish political system and the evolution of civil-military relations in the Post-Helsinki era
Akbaş, Erdem (2008) 'Europeanization' of the Turkish political system and the evolution of civil-military relations in the Post-Helsinki era. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1266200 (Table of Contents)
After the Helsinki Summit in 1999, Turkey has undergone a process of reform in order to satisfy the Copenhagen criteria which were the precondition for launching ‘accession negotiations’ with the European Union. Thanks to various constitutional amendments and ‘harmonization packages’, Turkey managed to adjust its domestic political structure in line with the European standards on the basis of Copenhagen criteria. Superior position of the Turkish military in civil-military relations was one of the most serious problems that needed to be targeted in the post-Helsinki era. As the ‘guardian’ of Turkish Republic, military has always had a privileged place in the Turkish polity. However, this thesis proposes that, as a result of series of institutional reforms, especially the ones concerning National Security Council, authority of the military over civil agencies has been weakened. In other words, civilianization and democratization process of the Turkish political system in the context of ‘Europeanization’ has given birth to re-arrangement of civil-military relations in favor of the former. This thesis explains the reformation process through harmonization packages and analyzes the underlying reasons how and why the Turkish military, a very powerful actor in the Turkish political arena, has accepted its loss of power vis-à-vis the civilians.
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