2014 年 2014 巻 178 号 p. 178_132-178_145
Under the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi), so-called “democratization”has been promoted on an unprecedented scale in Turkey. However, in a country where the military’s presence in politics has been very prominent, how far this democratization process has gone has not been fully investigated so far. In this article, I will seek to explain how democratization has been developed by analyzing the process of “civilianization”—which means the reducing of the military’s influence over politics—mainly under the JDP government. At the same time, by referring to the study by Ahmet T. Kuru, I will attempt to show that institution and ideology in civil-military relations have formed the background of democratization.
The civilianization process in Turkey can be divided into three phases: (1) civilianization in institutions under the EU accession process; (2) the manifestation of civilianization in ideology; and (3) the civilianization of ideology through the judicial process. Before the JDP government emerged, the military developed institutions and an ideology to keep itself in power following the 1980 coup and the 1982 Constitution, which I call the “1982 regime” here. In the first phase, although the “1982 regime” had strongly consolidated itself, it could not resist the EU accession process that started at the end of 1999. The regime’s institutions were reformed to move the country toward EU membership because the regime’s ideology was open to joining the EU. In the second phase, such changes in institutions weakened the political influence of the military, and, in contrast, many civilian organizations that had been under the military’s influence strengthened their autonomy. For example, as observed in the “Republic Meeting” in April 2007, civic organizations that were considered to have the same ideology as the military acted autonomously. Moreover, the Constitutional Court dismissed the closure case for the JDP and judged, in its decision of July 2008, that the party’s reform had been effective for EU accession. In the last phase, the coup plan in 2003, which seemed to involve some retired military personnel, was judged in the courts, and it damaged the military’s prestige.
In this understanding, it can be said that democratization, which has shown significant progress under the JDP government, has been realized by the military’s loss of its monopoly over ideology through the civilianization of the institutions of the “1982 regime” and the emphasis on EU values, such as freedom and liberal democracy, which had been neglected for a long time. Furthermore, it also can be said that ideology still has legitimacy in a different form and context from the “1982 regime.” Such changes in ideology and legitimacy will affect the further progress of democratization and the consolidation of democracy in Turkey.