The Turkish Deep State: State Consolidation, Civil-Military Relations and Democracy, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Turkish Deep State

State Consolidation, Civil-Military Relations and Democracy, 1st Edition

By Mehtap Sooyler


236 pages

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Paperback: 9780815348894
pub: 2017-12-13
Hardback: 9781138782334
pub: 2015-02-17
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pub: 2015-02-11
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The deep state ranks among the most critical issues in Turkish politics. This book traces its origins and offers an explanation of the emergence and trajectory of the deep state; the meaning and function of informal and authoritarian institutions in the formal security sector of a democratic regime; the involvement of the state in organized crime; armed conflict; corruption; and massive human rights violations.

This book applies an innovative methodological approach to concept formation and offers a mid-range theory of deep state that sheds light on the reciprocal relationship between the state and political regimes and elaborates on the conditions for the consolidation of democracy. It traces the path-dependent emergence and trajectory of the deep state from the Ottoman Empire to the current Turkish Republic and its impact on state-society relations. It reads state formation, consolidation, and breakdown from the perspective of this most resilient phenomenon of Turkish politics. The analysis also situates recent developments regarding AKP governments, including the EU accession process, civil-military relations, coup trials, the Kurdish question, and the Gülen Movement in their context within the deep state. Moreover, this case-study offers an analytical framework for cross-regional comparative analysis of the deep states.

Addressing the lacuna in academic scholarship on the deep state phenomenon in Turkey, this book is essential reading for students and scholars with an interest in democratization, politics and Middle East Studies.


'A very original project that sheds light on the historical legacy and the nature of the deep state in contemporary Turkey. The author brings her profound theoretical knowledge and methodological expertise to elucidate the origins, the transformation and the particular dimensions of the deep state through time and as it engaged different parts of society. This is an important addition to the the political science literature on the state, authoritarianism and democratization as well as a key contribution to the analysis of the Turkish state.'

Karen Barkey is Professor of Sociology and History, and Director of the Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life at Columbia University.

'A historically and conceptually profound look into the deep state in Turkey. There is much talk about the deep state, but it is rare to find a scholarly discussion of what it means and what it does not mean.'

Dr. Esra Ozyurek is Chair for Contemporary Turkish Studies at the European Institute, London School of Economics.

'A strong addition to the comparative historical literature on the state. It combines a fascinating account of the development of the Turkish state, with close attention to methods and a clear theoretical argument.'

Gary Goertz is Professor of Political Science at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author or co-author of nine books and over

"…it is a welcome addition to the literature on the Turkish state…Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate and research collections."

--H. Shambayati, Florida Gulf Coast University, CHOICE

"Overall, she ties together what might initially appear to be a series of unrelated historical moments into a meaningful sequence. In terms of making better sense of the state and its multiple trajectories, The Turkish Deep State offers new avenues to pursue for scholars of Turkey as well as for social scientific studies of the state, military, and democracy alike."

Senem Kaptan Rutgers University, New Perspectives on Turkey

"The Turkish Deep State: State Consolidation, Civil–Military Relations and Democracy, bravely tackles the legendary Turkish “Deep State” and reroutes the direction of the debate toward more measureable premises…In short, the contribution of Söyler’s work on the very controversial and important topic of deep state in Turkey is to guide us to the top of the mountain and point us in a more promising direction…"

Michael Wuthrich, University of Kansas, Democratization, For review in full go to:

Table of Contents

Introduction 1 Methodology 2 Theoretical Framework 3 From Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic 4 The Emergence and Rise of the Deep State 5 The Rise and Decline of the Deep State Conclusion Bibliography

About the Author

Mehtap Soyler received her doctorate in political science from the Humboldt University Berlin, where she is currently conducting her post-doctoral research. Her research foci are qualitative methods, democratization, civil-military relations, coming to terms with the past, and international politics of the EU.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern Politics

This series is concerned with recent political developments in the region. It will have a range of different approaches and include both single authored monographs and edited volumes covering issues such as international relations, foreign intervention, security, political Islam, democracy, ideology and public policy.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies