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					   EU Harmonisation Reforms and
Civilian Democratic Control of Armed
Forces in Turkey: Further Alignment
        with the EU Standards?
                                   International Sociological Association
                                          Research Committee 01
                                 “Armed Forces and Conflict Resolution”
        Seoul National University, Korea Military Academy and Korea National Defence University
                                        International Conference on
                       “Armed Forces and Conflict Resolution in a Globalized World”
                                      July 14 ~ 17, 2008, Seoul, Korea
                                       Prof. Nilufer NARLI
                                       Copyrights preseved

•   Organized by:
•   Balkan Mosaic Foundation
•   Euro-Atlantic Education Initiative
•   In cooperation with:
•    Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
•   NATO Public Diplomacy Division
•          26 September 2008, Sofia
•                               Sheraton Sofia Hotel Balkan
• Turkey joined Nato in 1952. During the Cold War,
  there was not significant pressure to bring
  Turkey‟s civil-military relation trends in
  alignment with the standarts of the NATO
  member states. Turkey‟s “unique position” where
  the military had rather autonomous position and
  had constitutional tools to shape civilian politics
  was not questioned. However, Turkey had the
  pressure to keep democratic standarts in terms of
  having multi-party system and free and regular
        From NATO to The EU
• At the end of the Cold War, Turkey has gained a
  new strategic importance, as the religious
  extremism has become a treat to the Western
  world. While candidate member states had to fulfil
  the criteria of civilian democratic control of the
  armed forces to join NATO, Turkey was not
  pressured to reform its civil-military relations till
  Turkey has become an EU candidate country in
Democratic conditionality as the strategy of
 the EU and Democratic civilian control of
              armed forces
• Democratic conditionality is the strategy of the EU to
  encourage candidate states to comply with its democracy
  and human right standards, referred to Copenhagen
  criteria. Democratic civilian control of armed forces is
  one of the democratic standards required to fulfill the
  criteria. Soon after the EU recognised Turkey a candidate
  state in 1999, Turkey has executed far-reaching reforms
  under the EU harmonisation process began in 2001. The
  reforms of 2001-2005 expanded civil liberties and
  decreased the military‟s institutional ability to exercise
  formal control and influence over the civilian politics. This
  success pleased the Member States and, In October 2005,
  they decided to start negotiations with Turkey on its
  accession to the European Union.
     Model explaining the Effects of the EU
     Harmonisation, Security Culture and
     Political Culture on the Civil-Military
    There are three variables affecting the civil-military balance of power
    in Turkey: the EU -harmonization process, which is a major variable
    that has been transforming the civil-military relations in three
    directions: increased civilian influence in the balance of power
    between the civilians and the military; improved transparency in
    defence budgeting and in defence policy formation; and improved
    parliamentary oversight. The second variable is the Turkish security
    policy which has direct and indirect impacts on the increased or
    decreased civilian democratic control. Related to the second variable,
    the study gives due attention to security culture, a variable, which
    affects security policy as much as the material structural factors
    affecting security policy. The third variable is the political culture
    related to civil-military matters in Turkey. The security culture and
    political culture defining civil-military relations interact with each
    other and create an impact on the security policy (Figure 1).
Figure 1
  The EU Harmonisation and Civil-
       Military Concordance I
Moving from Rebecca L. Schiff‟s concordance
 theory (see below), the article examines the
 relationship between the Turkish military, civilian
 politics and society before and after the EU
 harmonization process. It examines the effects of
 the EU harmonisation process on the changes in
 the civil-military balance of power, and on the
 related security culture and political values.
  The EU Harmonisation and Civil-
      Military Concordance II
The analysis focuses on
(i) increased civilian control and its consequent changes in the
    policy of accountability;
(ii) transparency-building in the defence sector;
(iii) parliamentary oversight; and
(iv) the change in the security culture and in the political
    culture related to the civil-military issues.
It also investigates to what extend the EU harmonization has
    achieved in building democratic civil-military relations in
    order to align with the EU standards.
      Turkish Civil- Military
   Concordance Model Before and
    After the EU harmonisation
Figure 2.1 and 2.2 compares the concordance model
  before and after the EU harmonisation. Figure 2.1
  represents the traditional organisation modality
  of civil-military relations which differs from
  the Huntingtonian model of the separation of
  civil military relations. Despite their formal
  separation, military and civilian authorities
  have forged a partnership based on an
  imperfect concordance among the military,
  political elites, and the citizenry.
 Historical and Cultural Factors that
  Sustained the Traditional Modality
                    the Civil-Military
               of (the concordance) is the product of Turkey’s
• This ruling style
  specific historical, social, and institutional context, featuring a
  stratified society and political culture as well as historic conflicts
  with neighbouring states and the constant fear of losing territorial
  integrity, that is deeply rooted in the security culture. Moreover,
  the three major convictions in the political culture, which are
  internalised in the course of primary and secondary socialisation,
  enhance the tendency to deny the separation of civilian and
  military spheres and sustain the military's influence in the civilian
  political decision-making process. They have been the cultural
  pillars supporting the constitutional tools that enabled the
  military to intervene in the legislative process.
               Figure 2.1: The Turkish Concordance Model

In this model, perceptual refers to the totality of the perceptions, convictions and cognitions of the citizens
that shape their attitude towards the military, that is their political culture. Contextual refers to all types of
legal and constitutional rules and arrangements. In this model, the military members dominated the NSC.
    Accountability and Transparency in
    Defense Budgeting Before the EU
        Harmonisation Reforms
• The defence budgeting and procurement in the
  traditional model was largely exempt from
  accountability to the elected representatives.
• The pre-EU Harmonisation model of defence budgeting
  lacked adequate parliamentary oversight and auditing
  since the Court of Audit was subject to certain restrictions
  in auditing and scrutinizing military expenses. This was
  changed by the reforms of the Law of Court of Audit, the
  Law on Public Financial Management and Control and the
  constitutional amendments shown in TABLE A.
Figure 2.2: The Drift from the Concordance Model
Under the EU Harmonisation
The Impact of the EU Harmonisation
 Military‟s formal influence was curbed with the
 institutional changes in the direction of
 (i)decreased military‟s formal influence in
 civilian politics, both in the instutions and
 parliament; (ii)increased transparency in
 military budgeting; (iii)relatively higher
 parliamentary oversight in defense budgeting
 and defense policy formation(Table A); and (iv)
 change in the political culture (see Table B) and
 in the security culture: “ national security is no
 longer just a military concern” is a new understanding.
Figure 4.1: Parliamentary-Military
     Dynamics in the Pre-EU
Figure 4.2: Parliamentary-Military
Dynamics in the EU Harmonisation

        Parliament              Military

TABLE A: Changes at Formal Level: Constitutional Amendments and Changes in the
Laws for Aligning Civil-Military Relations with EU Practices
Requirement by the       Constitutional Amendment and Changes in the Laws Date and Reform
The Function and              Making the NSC an advisory organ by an amendment to                   3 October 2001
Composition of the National   Article 118 of the Constitution, which also increases the number      Constitutional
Security Council (NSC)        of civilians in the NSC.                                              Amendments
                              Abrogation of the provision of the Law on the NSC that “the           3 October 2001
                              NSC will report to the Council of Ministers the views it has          Constitutional
                              reached and its suggestions”.                                         Amendments
                              Removal of articles 9 and 14 of the Law on the NSC and the            7 August 2003, 7th
Changes in                    Secretariat General of the NSC which empowered the                    harmonisation
                              Secretariat General to follow up, on behalf of the President and      package
NSC General                   the PM, the implementation of any recommendation made by
                              the NSC; amendment of article 13 limiting the competencies
Secretariat                   of the Secretariat General to the functions of a secretariat of the
                              NSC; amendment of article 5 to increase the time period
                              between regular NSC meetings from one to two months;
                              cancellation of the prerogative of the Chief of General Staff
                              to convene a meeting; amendment of article 15 to revise the
                              appointment procedure of the Secretary General of the NSC; the
                              Secretariat General is to be appointed upon the proposal of the
                              PM and the approval of the President, allowing a civilian to
                              serve in this office; removal of article 19, which provided that
                              „the Ministries, public institutions and organizations and private
                              legal persons shall submit regularly, or when requested, non-
                              classified and classified information and documents needed by
                              the Secretariat General of the NSC‟; abrogation of the
Full Parliamentary Control   Addition to the Law on the Court of Audit to audit accounts and     7 August 2003,
                             transactions upon the request of Parliament in all areas where      7th
of the Defence Budget        public means are used. Introduction of a bylaw to establish the     harmonisation
                             principles and procedures to be observed when auditing state        package
                             property used by the armed forces.
                             Law on Public Financial Management and Control brings extra-        Law enacted on
                             budgetary funds into the overall state budget.                      10 December
                             The last paragraph of article 160 of the Constitution on the        7 May 2004
                             Court of Audit is deleted. This constitutional amendment            Constitutional
                             deletes the exemption of “state property in the possession of
                             the Armed Forces in accordance with the principles of secrecy       amendments
                             necessitated by national defence" from the control of the Court
                             of Audit (Sayıştay).

Transparency of Defence      The EU Turkey Report 2007 was not satisfied with the level of       EU Turkey
                             transparency. It wrote:                                             Regular Report
Budgeting and expenses
                             “The Constitution, and EU harmonisation                             November
                             reforms enable the Court of Auditors to                             2007
                             carry out external ex-post audits of military
                             expenditures and properties”…No progress
                             has been made in terms of strengthening
                             parliamentary oversight of the military
                             budget and expenditure.”
Domestic transparent         Not Satisfactory. Following the change of 2006, the Law of the      Change in the
                             Court of Auditors prevents publication of the military expense      Law in 2006
publication of the defense   report prepared by the Court. According to the law passed in
expenses                     2006, the publication of the audit report --(prepared by Court of
                             Auditors) on the expenses of the Turkish Armed Forces,
Withdrawal             The representative of the NSC General Secretariat in the                        19 July 2003, 6th
                       Supervision Board of Cinema, Video and Music was removed by                     harmonisation package
of Military
                       an amendment to the Law on Cinema, Video and Music (Law No:
Re-presentatives       3257). An amendment to Article 6 deletes the clause: “the NSC
on Civilian Boards     General Secretariat".
                       The member of the Higher Education Board (YÖK), who was
                                                                                                       30 June 2004 9th
                       selected by the Chief of General Staff, was removed.
                       Similarly, a member appointed by the Secretary General of the                   harmonisation package
                       National Security Council has been removed from the High
                       Audio-Visual Board (RTÜK).

                       Eliminate the right of the Chief of General Staff to appoint a                  30 June 2004 9th
                       member of the High-Education Board and the High Audio-Visual                    harmonisation package

Amendment to           No change has been made to the Turkish Armed Forces Internal Service Law
                       and the law on the National Security Council.
                                                                                                       TURKEY 2007
Internal Service Law
                       The 1997 EMASYA secret protocol on Security, Public Order and Assistance        PROGRESS
of Article 35; and     Units remains in force. The protocol, signed by the General Staff and the
The 1997 EMASYA        Ministry of Interior, allows for military operations to be carried out for      REPORT, p.7
secret protocol        internal security matters under certain conditions without a request from the
                       civilian authorities.”

Competency of          Abolish the trial of citizens by military courts by amending the                7 August 2003, 7th
Military Courts        Turkish Penal Code and the Law on the Establishment and Trial                   harmonisation package
                       Procedures of Military Courts                                                   July 30, 2003,the
                       The amendment to the Military Criminal Code and the Law on the                  amendment to the Military
                       Establishment and Trial Procedures of Military Courts in January                Criminal Code and the
                       2004 aligned the detention procedures of the military courts with               Law on the Establishment
                       those of other courts.                                                          and Trial Procedures of
                                                                                                       Military Courts
 TABLE B: Changes at Informal Level: Reduced Informal
 Influence of the Military
Requirement     Reduction in the number of the speeches and                    Years
by the EU       press statements of the Chief of General Staff and
                top military leaders

To reduce the   Moderate military profile and informal
informal        influence                                                      2005
mechanisms of
the military

                Very high military profile and informal                        2006

                27 April e-memorandum                                          2007 Jan-June
                Reduction: . Beginning of reduction of the informal            2007 July
                military influence after the July 22 Elections

                Low military profile and informal influence while              2008
                alleged coup plans marked the political agenda of July
                Rise of military profile with General Basbug, the
                new Chief of Staff: Signs that the generals will take a more   2008 September-
                outspoken and publicly visible line under Gen Basbug.
                Conclusion I
Under the EU harmonisation reforms process,
  two changes are remarkable:
• the significant alteration in the structure of the
  civil-military relations and;
• observable changes in the political culture
  defining the role of the military and a new
  understanding in the security culture.
• These changes have created discordance in the
  civil-military relations. The new political culture
  is not very friendly with the idea of coup and
  military‟s influence on civilian politics.
  Conclusion II: A New Modality of
     Concordance is to Emerge
• The discordance is more pronounced at “the new political
  decison making process”, one of the indicators in Schiff‟s
  Concordance theory. The new decision making modality,
  where the military largely lost its formal influence over the
  civilian politics and became more accountable to the
  civilians, has created unease among some members of the
  military. A new concordance could emerge, if Turkey
  overcomes the crisis of democracy it has been undergoing
  with the military coup allegations have marked the
  political agenda since 2008 March. In the new
  concordance, democratic control is as important as civilian
  control for political stability.

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