U.S. involvement in military coups d'état in Turkey and Pakistan during the cold war : between conspiracy and reality

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2016-12
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Grigoriadis, Ioannis
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Bilkent University
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English
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Abstract

The external dimension of military coups d’état has hitherto remained an understudied subject in civil-military relations. It has either fallen victim to conspiracies or been entirely sidelined as a non-issue. The objective of this research is to conceptualize the ‘role’ played by the United States in four military coups d’état in Turkey and Pakistan. In order to broach a detailed discussion of US role in 1958 and 1977 coups in Pakistan and 1960 and 1980 coups in Turkey, this dissertation brings in military-to-military relations in order to complement civil-military relations. This study also brings into the analysis ‘socialization’ through military training and education programs offered by the United States and international organizations such as NATO, which supposedly function as ‘socializing platforms’ as underexplored subjects in civil-military relations. This study considers ‘signalling’ as an important conceptual tool to understand U.S. reaction, thereby U.S. role in, to military coups d’état. The study finds that while the trigger for coups d’état remained local, the coupists considered it very important to receive U.S. endorsement. It also shows that the US supported all four coups nonetheless, though in different ways. It argues that military training and education programs and NATO membership did not socialize Turkish generals into democratic norms but allowed detailed knowledge of Turkish and Pakistani armed forces and facilitated smoother transition to post-coup period.

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