It is not uncommon to assume that the Turkish military’s influence over politics has sharply decreased during the JDP governments. However, the JDP’s de-militarization policy has not produced a consolidated democracy and militarism has not totally disappeared from the legal, economic and social spheres. The JDP has pursued a pragmatic policy that aims to keep the military from toppling civilian governments but avoids making democratic reforms in order to consolidate its power in domestic politcs. As a result of this policy, state institutions including the Turkish Armed Forces have become non-transparent and non-accountable. In the final analysis, the military has remained a black box despite the fact that its scope and influence has narrowed down.
Burak Bilgehan Özpek, assistant professor at International Relations Department, TOBB University of Economics and Technology (Turkey)