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Turkish Domestic Politics in 2009: Towards Normalization

This article analyzes Turkey’s domestic political developments in 2009, by situating them against the results and implications of the 2007 national elections. It examines major issues on Turkey’s agenda: the redefinition of civilian-military relations, the Kurdish question, the issue of conservative social networks and the Ergenekon investigation. The article argues that while the governing Justice and Development Party previously pursued a survival strategy based on alliances with liberal reformists and the EU to curtail the power of the military, in the wake of the 2007 elections it opted to explore issues of common ground with the military. The developments in 2009, which was a year of harvesting the fruits of this new strategy, show that this strategy worked in regards to the Kurdish question, but it has failed on the issue of conservative social networks, as the military and the government remained embroiled in an undeclared confrontation on this issue.

Turkish Domestic Politics in 2009 Towards Normalization
The Ergenekon investigation has been another source of tension between the military and the government.
 

To analyze the political developments in 2009, perhaps the best place to begin with is the news that deeply shook the Turkish political scene at the beginning of 2010: a coup d’état plan that was leaked to the liberal daily newspaper Taraf. According to Taraf, 162 military officers, including 29 high ranking generals, gathered in Istanbul on March 5-7 2003 to discuss possible scenarios on how to force the newly established Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to declare a state of emergency, so that they could topple the elected government and appoint a “unity government” composed of technocrats.

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