Murat Ülgül and Sertif Demir
Dr. Ülgül is an associate professor in the Department of International Relations at Karadeniz Technical University; Dr. Demir is an economist and military specialist at the University of the Turkish Aeronautical Association in Ankara.
Military coups cause numerous security problems but most importantly threaten the survival of civilian regimes. As a result, governments adopt coup-proofing strategies which encompass a wide variety of military, political, economic, or social measures to prevent military coups. This article analyzes Turkish civil-military relations by comparing the Turkish government’s coup-proofing strategies before and after the Justice and Development Party (JDP) came to power in November 2002. With the help of several variables in the literature, we will focus on whether or not coup-proofing strategies have been implemented in Turkey; if yes, which measures have been applied; and with how much success. We find that without adopting several coup-proofing strategies at the same time, Turkish governments have had a difficult time in preventing ambitious soldiers from interfering in politics. The recent failed coup attempt and the subsequent change in the JDP’s coup-proofing policies are illustrative in this regard.
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