The military and the consolidation of democracy: the recent Turkish experience
Armed Forces and Society
Sage Publications, Inc.
635 - 657
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Turkey's recent success in dealing with the threat of political Islam without the military taking power into its own hands cannot be explained by either of the two contending theories about the military's role in the consolidation of democracy, that of the "mode-of-transition" or that of "electoral dynamics." Following the transition to democracy, officers in Latin America have evinced politically elite characteristics and have been in a tug of war with civilian politicians; officers in Eastern Europe have shown non-elite (professional) characteristics and have been subordinated to civilian politicians; officers in Turkey, not unlike their counterparts in France and Germany of earlier decades, have displayed state-elite characteristics and maintained their privileged position in the polity. Thus, while it is possible to use the dichotomy of politicized versus professional militaries to explain the fortunes of democracy in Latin America and Eastern Europe, respectively, in Turkey it is necessary to analyze the factors determining the orientation of officers toward democracy.