Vol. 4 No. 2 (2021): Pakistan Journal of International Affairs

Analyzing Civil-Military Relations in Pakistan and Turkey (2002-2018

Published 2021-06-30


Pakistan and Turkey have shared many commonalties in their patterns of civil-military relationship till 2002. In the post-independent Pakistan and post-republican Turkey, the civil-military relations have often remained imbalanced. The military of both the republics have remained entrenched in the respective states politics and have exercised a hegemonic role in the internal and external politics of the republics. However, after 2002, Turkey has experienced a different trajectory of civil-military relationship while Pakistan is still passing through the same pattern of imbalanced civil-military interaction. This paper sheds light on these different patterns by comparing the trajectories of civil-military relationship of the two states. It demonstrates that Turkey has been successful in the application of democratic control over her armed forces in recent years while Pakistan besides having shared a similar pattern of civil-military relationship with Turkey (till 2002) is lagging behind in the commencement of democratic control over military. The paper shows that Justice and Development Party’ performance (AKP), European Union (EU) criteria, lesser internal and external threats, Erdogan’s charisma, continuity in political processes, and factionalism inside the army have been the factors which have contributed to the civilian supremacy in Turkey.