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Title: Demilitarization of politics and its impact on Turkey's foreign policy, the AKP period (2002-2011)
Author: Evcimik, Melis
ISNI:       0000 0004 7652 533X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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The military has traditionally been one of the most influential institutions in Turkish political milieu. The officers not only had a major role in the foundation of the Republic but have also been presented as the guardians of Kemalism. While fulfilling such an important role, the army's sphere of influence was not limited to the domestic realm. It expanded into the design and conceptualization of foreign policy. Yet since the rise of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to power, a dramatic turn towards the reduction of military's authority has taken place. This in turn has allowed the AKP to adopt a new approach during its first two terms in office, altering foreign policy outcomes. As one of the most significant changes in the history of modern Turkey, this transformation, defined as demilitarization of politics or political demilitarization in this study, has brought the country into a completely new configuration. This thesis focuses on the curtailment of military's power and its impact on foreign policy, in particular. It shows that until political demilitarization, foreign policy decisions were made dependent on a set of priorities and prejudices carved during the foundation of the Republic. Its course was set, given the enduring setting it was based upon and was staunchly safeguarded by the military. This study demonstrates that after political demilitarization, civilian authorities kept criticizing priorities safeguarded by the old establishment and drafted a new approach bereft of their influence. However, Turkey's fluctuating relations show that they failed to replace the traditional foreign policy tenets with robust new ones. A detailed analysis of Turkey's changing relations with Israel and Greece, two countries with which relations were traditionally influenced by TSK preferences, along with a brief overview of oscillating relations with neighbours, presents how Turkey's foreign policy remained in flux.
Supervisor: Anastasakis, Othon Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available