In This Review

Context and Circumstance: The Turkish Military and Politics
Context and Circumstance: The Turkish Military and Politics
By Gareth Jenkins
Oxford University Press, 2001, 104 pp.

The military in Turkey is distinctive. Intervening four times to change governments since 1960, the military has always restored civilian rule -- or at least hovered over civilian rule -- to fix the limits of acceptable security policies in foreign affairs, defend secularism, and fight Kurdish separatism. Yet it remains more popular and respected than civilian politicians. Jenkins explains the institutional arrangements underpinning this approach to government and succinctly shows the foreign policy positions of the military regarding, inter alia, Greece, the European Union, Iran, Israel, and the United States. He also shows that Turkey is more circumspect regarding U.S. policies and motives than many Americans realize. A possible military withdrawal from politics, he concludes, will be gradual at best.