Modern Turkey is experiencing one of its most defining moments since its inception. If the passage from one-party system to multiparty system in 1940 was one such turning point and if the period of Turgut Ozal's governance, which gave the country access to the international market for the first time, was a second, then the recent developments concerning Ergenekon, a layer of an undiscovered world of the Turkish deep state, is the third of its kind. Until almost the end of the 1990s, most Turks were oblivious to the somewhat enigmatic concept of a state within a state. In the days of discussion following the coup d'état of 1997, then-president Suleyman Demirel pointed out that the Turkish military was the deep state. Twelve years after Demirel's concession, observers know that the deep state goes beyond certain factions within the Turkish military and percolates into various facets of the state machinery. This article sheds light on the organization of the deep state, some of the underlying reasons behind its emergence, and its activities affecting the country's course of democratization or lack thereof. It argues that with the recent efforts of deconstructing the deep state, Turkey has ushered in a new era of democratization.
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Merve Kavakci; Turkey's Test with Its Deep State. Mediterranean Quarterly 1 December 2009; 20 (4): 83–97. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10474552-2009-026
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