Role of the military in Turkish politics: case of the 1980 military coup
Terzic, Mihailo (2011) Role of the military in Turkish politics: case of the 1980 military coup. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1379357 (Table of Contents)
1980 military coup d'état was a rupture in Turkish political system and society, in range and consequences comparable at least with the transition to parliamentary democracy in 1946. The causes of the coup were manifold: a malfunctioning parliamentary democracy and weak governments were not able to deal with political terrorism and severe economic crisis. Meanwhile, a switch in the Cold War balance of powers upped the strategic importance of Turkey for NATO and the US, which became impatient for stability in Turkey. A further cause of the coup was a peculiar political role of the military in Turkey. This thesis explores the nature and worldview of the Turkish military, from the Republican beginnings until 1980. The military's ideological doctrine, Kemalism, is a variant of corporatist ideology, a political ideology opposed to both modern western liberalism and socialism/communism. An ideal society for the military is an orderly, harmonious society, with interests of the nation above individual interests. Although Kemalism demanded that Turkey adopts western institutions, common points with liberalism are fairly sporadic and accidental, and democratic ideal is subordinate to corporatist goals. This explains the paradox why the military has claimed, on one hand, that they are protectors of democracy, while on the other hand they have intervened and suspended democracy three times. The 1980 intervention manifested the military's doctrine in an exemplary fashion: they limited the scope of freedom for education institutions and press, and increased the influence of military bodies over civilian sphere.
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