Transformation of the Turkish military and the path to democracy
Armed Forces and Society
Sage Publications, Inc.
357 - 388
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Democratization scholars argue that Turkey has successfully transitioned to democracy and is consolidating liberal democracy. The political elite and the parties are deemed important factors in crafting democracies. However, the Turkish political leadership has not changed much until recently; therefore, it remains a puzzle why consolidation is taking place. There are two explanations: (1) there is no consolidation of democracy (2) a factor other than the turnover in political elite/change in the political system has led to consolidation. I argue that consolidation is in progress because of the lengthy but persistent transformation of the military in Turkey. I examine previously overlooked changes in Turkish military with respect to its structure and its relations to the society. I find that the change in the military contributes to the consolidation of democracy in Turkey, and other transitional democracies. As with any other institutional change, this process is slow and risky.