Turkey: The Pendulum between Military Rule and Civilian Authoritarianism


In Turkey: The Pendulum between Military Rule and Civilian Authoritarianism, Fatih Çağatay Cengiz explains Turkey’s trajectory of military and civilian authoritarianism while offering an alternative framework for understanding the Kemalist state and state-society relations. This book clearly captures the zeitgeist of the moment Turkey has passed/has been passing through: democratisation, authoritarianism, and the coup cycle. Moreover, the book not only focuses on Turkish domestic politics with regards to procedural democratisation and waves of authoritarianism under the AKP, it also engages with Turkey’s recent foreign policy; policy that pushes Turkey to take an active role in the Syrian conflict through the concept of ‘Neo-Ottomanism’.

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Fatih Çağatay Cengiz, Ph.D. (2016), School of Oriental and African Studies, is Assistant Professor at Ondokuz Mayıs University. He has published articles on democratisation, state theory and sub-imperialism in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies and Politikon.
List of Figures, Boxes and Tables
 Conceptualisation of Kemalism, Bonapartism, and Procedural Democracy

1. The Kemalist State
 The Historical Legacy
 The 1923 İzmir Economic Congress and National Developmentalism
 The statist and ultra-nationalist phase in the Kemalist capitalist state
 Industrial Upgrading (1960-1980)
 Failed democratic transition under the Democrat Party (1950-1960)
 The 1960 coup and 1971 memorandum in the context of the Cold War
 Institutionalisation of ‘Kemalism without Mustafa Kemal’
 Bourgeoisification of the Military

2. The Construction of a New Society After the 1980 Military Coup
 The completion of the national developmentalist project
 The Absorption of Kemalism into Neoliberalism
  Islamisation of society after the 1980s
 Turgut Özal in power (1983-1989 and 1989-1993): post-Kemalist rule
 Political liberalisation in the 1990s under post-Kemalist rule Second-Generation Devout Turkish Bourgeoisie
 MÜSİAD (The Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association)
 ASKON (The Anatolian Tigers Business Association)
   TUSKON (Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists)

3. War of Manoeuvre by Islamic Fundamentalism Against the Kemalist State
 The political trajectory of Islamic parties led by Necmettin Erbakan in Turkey
   The National Order Party (1970-1971)
   The National Salvation Party (1972-1981)
   The Welfare Party (1983-1998)
 The just economic system: a petty-bourgeois utopia in the era of neoliberalism
 The national view (milli görüş) as common ideational ground for Islamic parties
 The Islamic alternative to the Kemalist state
 The Military Intervention of 28 February 1997
 The rupture in Islamic politics

4. War of Position by the AKP Against the Kemalist State
 The restructuring of the state after the end of the Cold War
 The rise of the AKP in the post-crisis period and continuation of neoliberal economic policies
   The 2001 economic crisis
   The economy under AKP rule
 Procedural democratisation under the influence of the EU
 The AKP tactics towards the military: the modern capitalist prince and a ‘war of position’

5. Authoritarian Turn, Sub-Imperialist Foreign Policy, and the Failed Coup of 15 July 2016
 The expansion of the Gülen movement
 The Ergenekon and Sledgehammer (Balyoz) trials
 Authoritarian Wave in Domestic Policy
 Sub-Imperialism and Neo-Ottomanism in Foreign Policy: Strategic Depth or Strategic Failure?
   Sub-imperialism in Question
   The military dimension of Turkey’s sub-imperialist role
   Continuity in Turkish foreign policy in the 1990s
   The Economic Foundation of Neo-Ottomanism: Turkish exports and capital in the region
   Turkish companies as agents of regional economic power
   Political Tools for Turkish sub-imperialism
 Neo-Ottomanism in Practice
 The State Crisis Ahead of Turkey’s Failed Coup

6. Concluding Observations
 Basic structural economic limitations of Turkey’s sub-imperialist expansion: the sustainability and capacity problem of the Turkish economy
 Is Erdoğan an Islamic Bonaparte?
 Any Hope: Waiting for Godot?

This book is for anyone interested in Turkish politics and civil-military relations in general. It is also relevant to undergraduate and postgraduate students that study Middle Eastern politics more generally.