In his book Mobilizing Religion in Middle East Politics, Yusuf Sarfati provides one of the few book-length, up to date, comparative studies between modern Turkey and Israel. Unlike what the title suggests, it might be misleading to assume such a comparison would be about Middle East politics in general. Nonetheless, Sarfati’s in-depth study of these two non-Arab countries, both held as “exceptional” or “outliers” in their region, offers findings extending beyond its cases and the region.
The Gladio Scandal in Europe and, more recently, Turkey’s Ergenekon trials highlight the importance of hidden power networks behind the façade of parliamentary democracy. Dubbed as “deep state” in the Turkish context, the phenomenon suffers from a scarcity of scholarly analyses. This paper demonstrates the lack of academic interest in this complex issue in Europe, and Turkey in particular. After reviewing the central currents in the academic literature on the Turkish deep state, it offers an analysis of the Ergenekon affair in continuity with Turkey’s recent past.