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A History of the National Security State in Turkey

Zeynep Sarlak defended her thesis on 25 August 2020

Zeynep Sarlak
25 August 2020
Leiden Repository

This doctoral dissertation questions the validity of the following two universally accepted and often repeated convictions by scholars of Turkish studies: Turkey has been an indispensable ally of the United States ever since its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership in 1952, and the Turkish Republic's national security discourse has always been an obstacle to solving fundamental political and societal issues. The main problem with these two convictions is that they have not been read together, which has resulted in the omission of the significant relationship between them. This research works on the following assumption: The transformation of the military in Turkey, on the axis of the US-centered Cold War national security ideology, and the institutional and political consequences of this process are not uniquely Turkish. This dissertation argues that the Turkish Republic has gradually transformed into a national security state during the Cold War era. The second aim of this dissertation is to explore if Turkey, as a distinct case study, offers a new understanding of a post-Cold War security state. From this framework, the dissertation aims to fill this fundamental scholarship gap on the regime and military-related studies in Turkey.

Supervisors: prof. dr. E.J. Zürcher and Prof. A. İnsel (Galatasaray University)

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