A gradual declension: civil-military relations and the AKP, 2002-2007
Gisclon, Megan Elizabeth (2015) A gradual declension: civil-military relations and the AKP, 2002-2007. [Thesis]
This thesis will look at the declension of the military from 2002-2007 not only as a product of the AKP’s rise to power but also as a product of decades of volatile social and political change. Primary to the investigation of this question is Turkey’s history of civil-military relations. Therefore, in the first chapter a brief history of the military’s century-old political and state power is explained. This is then followed by an outline of the social and cultural changes of the 1980s and ‘90s. Of equal importance, the AKP’s rise as a political and cultural force to compete with the military’s resurrected rhetoric of Kemalism and democracy will be detailed as the discussion of the military’s role is opened up through the European Union accession process. This will be discussed in chapter two. The third chapter will then analyze the military and AKP’s use of secularist rhetoric as a tool to maintain and defend their own political power within the state. After traditional Kemalist secularism had taken a turn out of fashion in the 1980s, the new secular rhetoric employed under the watch of Chiefs of General Staff Özkök and Büyükanıt are products of the previous 25 years of politics. Finally, the fourth chapter will evaluate the debate between the military, the civilians, and the government over the rightful, democratic place of the military within the Turkish state.
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