Public opinion and attitude toward the military and democratic consolidation in Turkey
Armed Forces & Society
Sage Publications, Inc.
282 - 306
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The political influence of the Turkish military has substantially declined in the last decade, triggered by the European Union’s decision during the Helsinki Summit in 1999 to grant candidacy status to Turkey. This study illuminates Turkey’s democratization process in the post-Helsinki period by empirically analyzing a relatively underinvestigated aspect of civil–military relations: public opinion and attitude toward the military and civil–military issues. Empirical analyses, based on original and comprehensive public opinion data, indicate that despite impressive reforms and improvements in the legal and institutional structures in Turkish civil–military relations in the past ten years, democratic transformation in the political culture has been lagging behind. This gap is likely to complicate democratization process in Turkey. The article also provides a discussion of broader theoretical and practical implications of empirical findings.