Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The International Context of Regime Change : Turkey 1923- 1960

Hakan Yilmaz, Colombia U. Unpublished PhD thesis, 1996.

The military coup of May  27, 1960 ended the democratic game, pushed the populists and the progressives back, and placed the military at the center stage of Turkish politics.The coup-makers claimed that their action prevented an imminent populist dictatorship and that they saved the future of democracy in Turkey.

the elections of May 14, 1950 brought the Democratic Party to power. The DP remained in power for over ten years, comfortably winning the elections of May 2, 1954 and October 27, 1957. It was a military action, and not an electoral defeat, that put an end to the DP rule on May 27, 1960. 200

The democracy that was established after 1960 was a special type of democracy, one that can be best described as military democracy. One specific element of the post-1960 military democracy in Turkey was that for brief periods ( 1971-73 and 1980-83) the military took over full state power whenever the democratic component of the regime underwent serious crises. In these brief periods, the democratic elements of the regime were suspended, its military component became dominant. In that sense, the post-1960 Turkish politics has oscillated between long periods of military democracy and short periods of military state. 246

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