Construction of civil-military relations in Turkey
AdvisorŞatana, Nil Seda
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Maintaining civilian control over military constitutes the classical problematique of the civil-military relations (CMR) scholarship. Besides, the relationship between military and civilians are taken as conflictual. Constructivist approach, on the other hand, argues that roles of social actors are not constant but they are socially constructed through an interaction process. Building on the constructivist approach, this thesis aims to focus on the relationship between military and civilians as an outcome of a process. Its argument is that the nature of relationship between civilians and soldiers are socially constructed within the social interaction process. Thus, it uses constructivism as its theoretical framework to provide insights to the factors determinant on the role of military in the political system. It uses a “theory-building case study” method and intends to make some theoretical implications derived from Turkish case. It analyzes the role construction of military in two domains: Organizational domain; societal domain. While organizational domain focuses on the legal status and self-perception of Turkish Armed Forces, societal domain is composed of political sphere and citizenry. The study shows that instruments such as ideology, compulsory military service system, education and media are used to build a strong military role. It makes a comparison of two periods. First period is between 1980 and 2001. The thesis argues that a strong and active military role can be observed in the first period. The second period is post- 2001 period. In the second era, it is observed that there is a structural and discursive change in the military‟s role in Turkish political system with the effect of the relations with European Union. The thesis makes a modest contribution to the civil- iv military relations literature by using a theoretical framework which has not been used very often in the literature.
Turkish Armed Forces