Military Class and Perpetual State Control in Turkey
Title: Military Class and Perpetual State Control in Turkey
Author: KARABELIAS, Gerassimos
Series/Report no.: EUI RSCAS; 2008/12; Mediterranean Programme Series
Although Turkey has, for more than eighty years, given the impression of a Middle Eastern country eager to apply liberal western institutional structures into its own political life and even join the European Union, it has not stopped falling significantly short of the democratic type. While some attribute its pitfalls to the authoritarian-patriarchical political culture and others on the ‘Serves Syndrome’ and its discriminatory behaviour towards its citizens on issues such as political Islam and ethnic identity, the majority of observers agree that it is the augmented political, legal, economic and cultural power of its ‘ruling’ military class. In fact, the ruling military elite in Turkey constitutes a social class. As Orhan Erkanli, a leading officer of the 1960 coup clearly stated, ‘In Turkey, there is a military class, just as there is a workers and a peasants’ class and the officer corps constitute the backbone of this class’. Even though both foreign and domestic researchers often refer to the Turkish officer corps as a ruling elite, they avoid treating the military as a socio-economic class. The aim of this paper is to cover this gap in literature by thoroughly examining the political, legal and economic sources of power of Turkey’s ‘ruling but not governing’ military class.
Subject: Military Class; Turkey; State Supervision; Military-Industrial Complex
Ninth Mediterranean Research Meeting - Workshop 09 - Authoritarian Regimes and their Perpetuation in the Middle East: The Changing Politics of Class Identities
Type of Access: openAccess