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But being part of the defence sector is also an important source of prestige for both military and industrials as it is associated with advanced technology and nationalism.

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This competition between two competing hegemonic projects ultimately resulted in political Islam being re-evaluated as a security risk by the army. It led, a few months later, to the resignation of the government led by Erbakan. Their managers were subsequently regularly ostracised at state visits and international fairs, including defence industry events in Yankaya, The end of the co-optation of political Islam by the armed forces and the restoration of a pro-Western secular military hegemony at the expense of a democratically elected Islamic party could not fail to recall the cases of Algeria and Egypt in the s Vannetzel, this volume.

This attempt to restore military hegemony was, however, short-lived in Turkey. While the s were characterised by a dual Turkification process—the Turkification of the threat and the Turkification of the industry—the following decade saw the beginning of a new period of internationalisation of the Turkish security rent.

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To some extent, the project weathered the historic financial crisis in Turkey in and even survived the significant budget restrictions and the widespread mistrust of the traditional economic and political elites brought about by that crisis. Table Source: Author compilation from the annual rankings of the top companies in Turkish industry carried out since by the Istanbul Chamber of Industry.

Note: ND not defined means that the sales figures of the company are, for the year in question, lower than the sales figures recorded by any of the top industrial companies in Turkey. These institutions are the nurseries of the elite, comprising spaces for shared socialisation between members of the military, industrial, and scientific establishment, particularly in science parks; since , these institutions have seen a tripling of the contracts related to the Turkification of military scientific knowledge.

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It is still difficult to draw a distinction between these actors since the boundaries separating public from private, military from civilian, and foreign from national are porous. The TSKGV foundation, owner of twenty companies in the defence sector, is certainly a de jure private entity thanks to its status as vakif mortmain , but it belongs de facto to the Turkish army.

Free competition and the distinction between political and economic spheres are all the more illusory in this sector in that the state remains a central and multipositional player. The state is the only customer of the national market; the only investor capable of funding such expensive, long, and uncertain projects. Whether obtaining national contracts, research grants, permits required for arms exports, offsets or state export guarantees, those working in the defence industry remain structurally dependent on the government. The units of economic and political power not only become larger and more centralized; they come to coincide in interest and to make explicit as well as tacit alliances.

The holding company Nurol is a particularly good example of this convergence of interests and this shared socialisation. These multiple interests and reciprocal yet asymmetric dependences have led to the formation of personal connections, as evidenced in by the presence of the then Minister of the Economy and the Mayor of Ankara at the wedding of the son of the Vice President of Nurol.

Another such example is the shipbuilding company Yonca-Onuk, established in Co-optation by the government, essential if these companies are to sell arms, works not only at home but also abroad. Officially set up in order to limit the negative effects of imports on the balance of payments, such practices—widespread in the international defence sector—run against the idea of free competition. Protected by a double seal of privacy they are treated as top secret and are at the same time trade secrets , they encourage and to some extent legitimise the formation of rents for co-opted national businesses.

Though they do not prove this hypothesis, the corruption cases related to the sales of Turkish arms by the company Havelsan to South Korea or the sale of German Thyssen Krupp submarines to the Turkish army, the huge amounts involved, their growing opacity, the practice of retrocession—quite common in this sector—and the recent accusations of corruption that have tainted the reputation of the AKP government appear at least to provide evidence in support of it Bekdil, , The Korea Time s, ; Cumhuriye t, The project for the Turkification of the defence industry thus involves the proliferation of asymmetrical interdependences between military, industrial, scientific and political elites underpinning the formation of a shared interest in this major project.

Even if they fail, or if the major project turns out to be impossible, the government will have no interest in making their failure public knowledge. They are, rather, an expression of a strategy of extraversion based on increasing external dependences.


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And these dependences are the vectors of a circulation of economic, political, technological and symbolic resources, which—taken as a whole—contribute to a quest for hegemony both nationally and on the regional and international levels. French defence companies were subjected to this carrot-and-stick policy in when, following the passing of a law recognising the Armenian genocide, they experienced a freezing of military contracts with Turkey even though the Turkish army had hitherto been one of the main foreign customers of the French defence industry.

While the contract has not been finalised, Western competitors have, in the meantime, offered better conditions.

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The project still does not, however, allow Turkey to emancipate itself from its Atlanticist allies: the US still largely dominates the market as the source of nearly 70 per cent of Turkish armament imports in SIPRI, see annex. Since , when the Turkish arms industry officially achieved 50 per cent autonomy, the issue of the origin of production and its components is no longer central in gauging the success of local development.

It has been replaced by two goals: the tripling of the turnover of Turkish defence companies and the doubling of Turkish arms exports. All of this contributes to the influence and prestige of the AKP nationally and internationally Yankaya, This provides for a mutual defence clause in the case of attack, which de facto means that the Turks will provide Qatar with military protection should aggression occur Toyay, ; Gurcan, The political entrepreneur Ethem Sancak, who had shortly before given up a portion of his shares in the company BMC to the Industrial Committee of the Qatari Armed Forces, acted as a bridgehead for Turkish-Qatari relations, playing a significant role as an intermediary Star , The brotherhood discourse promoted by this project is a purely superficial horizontality, and reveals an attempt to justify the international division of labour within the so-called Muslim world in favour of Turkey, involving the exclusion of Iran and its allies.

It also results from a multitude of logics to be found in importing countries, inherited in part from their own historical trajectories: the shared experience of facing an embargo on their arms markets Pakistan and Indonesia , the parallel policy of importing countries that aims to make their defence industries independent Pakistan, Qatar and Malaysia and the comparative historicity of bilateral ties between individual importing countries and Turkey or Iran , respectively. Located at the intersection of the strategy of extraversion and that of redistribution of public resources to Turkish and foreign political entrepreneurs, the project is part of a national and international quest for hegemony.

The vice president and director of the BILGEM laboratory, the main source of judicial expertise in both the aforementioned cases and the main beneficiary of research funds for the Turkification of the defence industry since Table Thus, the mutual dependences, both material and immaterial, promoted by the major project of Turkification in no way reflect the existence of harmonious relations or even any stability of interest between government, industry and the military Wright Mills, , As they depend on the power relations of the moment, the conflicts that constitute this highly publicised and marketed development project may lead to reversible co-optations.

Playing with and playing on relations of inequality at the international level, it helps to alter, if only in the imaginary, the ways in which Turkey is integrated into the international system, ensuring a fictitious commodification of the umma and the Turkish army in the name of the defence of Turkish society.

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This project thus represents an imaginary bridge not only between the logic of the market and the logic of national affirmation, but also between political Islam and the secular elite. For the civilian populations potentially affected by this major project, a public challenge to the last of these would constitute evidence of their betrayal of the Turkish state, as this project remains so closely associated with the survival of the state and the nation. Thus, unlike large civil infrastructure projects, this major project is relatively free of critics because of the many forms of legitimacy it bears and the impossibility of casting doubt on the achievements claimed for it because of the double secrecy that it enjoys it is both a trade secret and top secret.

As a result, the project contributes to an unfinished depoliticisation of social inequality Ferguson, in Turkey. Ahmad, F. Andreous, A. Bali, R. Baskaya, F. Bayart, J.

La politique du ventre Paris: Fayard. Billion, D.

Bekdil, B. Bozarslan, H.

Briquet, J. What I found particularly interesting about the report, which also provides very good background about the history of the "Deep State" in Turkey and of the Ergenekon story itself, is its look at how Turkey's predilection towards conspiracy theories might be tainting the Ergenekon case. Indeed, the indictments are so full of contradictions, rumors, speculation, misinformation, illogicalities, absurdities and untruths that they are not even internally consistent or coherent.

This is not to say that the Ergenekon investigation is simply a politically motivated fabrication. Rather than convincing the investigators that what they are looking for does not exist, this elusiveness appears merely to make the organization more fearsome and powerful in their minds; and further fuel their desperation to uncover and eradicate it. A predilection for conspiracy theories is nothing new in Turkey and can be found across the political spectrum. Both a large proportion of AKP supporters and many of those in law enforcement genuinely believe that a malicious conspiratorial cabal — which most associate with the Deep State — has been not only manipulating the political process but supporting or guiding a large proportion of the political violence in the country.

Amongst AKP supporters, attention tends to focus particularly on violence carried out in the name of Islam; where their sincere horror at the carnage that is sometimes perpetrated in the name of their religion has created a culture of denial, and a refusal to believe that their fellow Muslims could be responsible. The report takes a good look at some of the problems with the evidence, indictments and judicial procedures in the case.

About the case's first indictment there have been three released so far, and a fourth is expected , Jenkins writes:. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Get access to the full version of this article. View access options below.

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Between Fact and Fantasy: Turkey's Ergenekon Investigation

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