The study of civil-military relations remains dominated by Samuel Huntington’s 1957 book, The Soldier and the State, but it is unclear if the work retains external validity when applied in a contemporary context. Turkey’s volatile history of civil-military relations makes it a useful case with which to test Huntington’s propositions. Specifically, I examine the 28 February Process of 1997 and the subsequent shift in Turkey’s civil-military relationship to test the propositions that military autonomy and professionalism are the keys to civilian control of the military. These propositions are supported by underlying assumptions that privilege ideational factors and establish a division between different forms of civilian control. The Turkish case undermines these assumptions and contributes to the pursuit of a more generalisable theory of civil-military relations.
- Perceptions Summer 2016
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