How Turkey is reforming its military

Empowered to issue decrees with the “power of law” authorized by the state of emergency declared after the July 15 coup attempt, the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) government is frantically busy with changes that will radically affect the structure of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the civilian-military relations of the country. Judging from the pace and scope of the changes, this can well be characterized as “revolutionary civilian transformation.” The profound changes that have been introduced to the TSK with the decree issued July 31 include that from now on deputy prime ministers and the ministers of justice, interior and foreign affairs will participate in the Supreme Military Council (SMC), which decides on promotions of generals and other important issues in regard to the TSK. The role of civilians in the SMC used to be restricted to the prime minister and minister of defense. Continue reading