The Military and Europeanization Reforms in Turkey

Bilgic T.

MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES, vol.45, no.5, pp.803-824, 2009 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00263200903135588
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.803-824
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The Europeanization reforms in Turkey are partly designed to bring about the demilitarization of Turkish politics. However, up to now reforms have not been free from the military's impact. The democracy game is still played in a field whose borders have been delimited by the Turkish armed forces (TAF) and its interpretation of Kemalism. Even when the boundaries of these borders were extended, it was more due to the TAF's self-restraint, motivated by the prospect of membership in the EU, rather than the restrictive impact of institutional reforms. Under these circumstances, the future of Europeanization and thus the demilitarization of Turkish politics is likely to be shaped by whether reforms will reach the issues and prerogatives that the military has carefully guarded and whether the EU will offer the state a credible prospect for membership.