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Diminishing institutional autonomy of Turkish armed forces

Levon Hovsepyan

vol. VIII(1)

Pages 20-33

Abstract: This article analyzes the interconnectedness of the

transformation of the institutional autonomy and identity of the Turkish

Armed Forces (TAF), asserting that by losing its institutional autonomy

within the state system, the TAF now faces difficulties to sustain their

institutional identity, based on secularism and Kemalist ideology. The

transformation of civil-military relations and socio-political processes

after the July 15 failed coup pave the way for the politicization of the

TAF. The politicization of the armed forces, will have an important

impact on both the internal and foreign political processes of that

country, simultaneously contributing to its institutional identity and

value-oriented transformation. The ruling AKP party and President

Erdoğan’s authoritarian regime, not only attempt to induce their

political dominance and control over the TAF, but also strive to reshape

its identity in accordance with their own ideological and cultural

assumptions. The maintenance of the TAF’s identity and secularism

now becomes more challenging.

Keywords: Turkish Armed Forces, General Staff, AKP, institutional

autonomy, institutional identity, civil-military, coup d’état

Levon Hovsepyan
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