Skip to main content

State, institutions and reform in Turkey after July 15

  • Bülent Aras (a1) and Emirhan Yorulmazlar (a2)

The failed coup of July 15 has shocked the current state apparatus in Turkey. This shock has culminated in the public demand for administrative reform, which would make previous public designs and policy failures a matter of the past. The state crisis has transpired in the middle of a political transition process whereby the ruling party envisioned systemic change in the political system from the parliamentary to a presidential system. The constitutional amendments also imply changes in the administrative order, with further political hold on bureaucratic cadres. The coup attempt and the massive purges in its aftermath brought the state to its breaking point. In light of such deficits and challenges, this paper discusses the ways, means, and prospects for capacity development and institution-building to overcome the state crisis in Turkey. The reform and restructuring process entails cooperation and a level of understanding between the government, opposition, and bureaucracy. Polarization and disenfranchisement are recipes for further fragmentation in Turkish politics. A cooperative model based on a working relationship between the government, opposition, and bureaucracy would facilitate a return to normalcy.

Hide All
Acemoğlu, Daron and Robinson, James A.. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty. New York: Crown Publishers, 2012.
Akdoğan, Yalçın. AK Parti ve Muhafazakar Demokrasi. İstanbul: Alfa, 2004.
Andersen, David, Moller, Jorgen, Rorbaek, Lasse Lykke, and Skaaning, Svend-Erik. “State Capacity and Political Regime Stability.” Democratization 21, no. 7 (August 2014): 13051325.
Anderson, Becky and Masters, James. “Erdogan Insists Turkey Reforms Don’t Make Him a Dictator.” CNN, April 18, 2017.
Çağaptay, Soner. The New Sultan: Erdogan and the Crisis of Modern Turkey. London and New York: I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2017.
Cortell, Andrew P. and Peterson, Susan. “Limiting the Unintended Consequences of Institutional Change.” Comparative Political Studies 34, no. 7 (September 2001): 768799.
Dinçer, Ömer. Türkiye’de Değişim Yapmak Neden Bu Kadar Zor? İstanbul: Alfa, 2015.
“Erdoğan’dan Eğitim ve Kültür Özeleştirisi.” Anadolu Ajansı, February 9, 2017.
“Erdoğan’s Declaration of System Change Outrages Turkey’s Opposition.” Hürriyet Daily News, August 16, 2015.ğans-declaration-of-system-change-outrages-turkeys-opposition-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=87036&NewsCatID=338.
Etzioni-Halevy, Eva. Bureaucracy and Democracy: A Political Dilemma. London and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985.
Findley, Carter V. Bureaucratic Reform in the Ottoman Empire: The Sublime Porte, 1789–1922. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980.
Hanson, Jonathan K.Democracy and State Capacity: Complements or Substitutes?Studies in Comparative International Development 50, no. 3 (2015): 304330.
Heper, Metin. The State Tradition in Turkey. Walkington, England: The Eothen Press, 1985.
Heper, Metin. “The Strong State as a Problem for the Consolidation of Democracy.” Comparative Political Studies 25, no. 4 (1992): 169194.
Heper, Metin and Keyman, E. Fuat. “Double-Faced State: Political Patronage and the Consolidation of Democracy in Turkey.” Middle Eastern Studies 34, no. 4 (1998): 259277.
İnalcık, Halil. Osmanlı’da Devlet, Hukuk ve Adalet. İstanbul: Eren Yayınları, 2000.
Karaer, Tacettin.12 Eylül ve Türk Kamu Yönetiminin Yeniden Düzenlenmesi.” Amme İdaresi Dergisi 20, no. 3 (September 1987): 2954.
“Kılıçdaroğlu: Tek Adam Değil, Parlamenter Sistem Istiyoruz.” CNNTURK, July 9, 2017.
Lindvall, Johannes and Teorell, Jan. “State Capacity as Power: A Conceptual Framework.” STANCE (State-Making and the Origins of Global Power in the Long Nineteenth Century and Beyond) Working Paper Series, Vol. 2016, No. 1, May 2016.
Mangla, Akshay. Bureaucratic Norms and State Capacity: Implementing Primary Education in India’s Himalayan Region. Boston: Harvard Business School, 2014.
Mann, Michael. “The Autonomous Power of the State: Its Origins, Mechanisms and Results.” European Journal of Sociology 25, no. 2 (1984): 185213.
Migdalovitz, Carol. Turkey’s 2007 Elections: Crisis of Identity and Power. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 2007.
“Milli Eğitim Bakanı Ziya Selçuk’un İlk İcraatı: ALO 147 Şikayet Hattı Kapatılacak.” Cumhuriyet, July 13, 2018.
Moon, B.E. and Dixon, W.J.. “Politics, the State, and Basic Human Needs: A Cross-National Study.” American Journal of Political Science 29, no. 4 (November 1985): 661694.
Public Sector Reform: What Works and Why? An IEG Evaluation of World Bank Support. Washington, DC: World Bank Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), 2008.
Selçuk, Orçun. “Strong Presidents and Weak Institutions: Populism in Turkey, Venezuela and Ecuador.” Southeast European and Black Sea Studies 16, no. 4 (2016): 571589.
Slater, Dan and Fenner, Sofia. “State Power and Staying Power: Infrastructural Mechanisms and Authoritarian Durability.” Journal of International Affairs 65, no. 1 (December 2011): 1529.
Sözen, Süleyman. “New Public Administration in Turkey.” In Turkey’s Democratization Process. Edited by Carmen Rodriguez, Antonio Ávalos, Hakan Yılmaz and Ana I. Planet. Milton Park, Abingdon: Routledge, 2013. 223240.
Tendler, Judith. Good Government in the Tropics. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1997.
Turan, Osman. “The Ideal of World Domination among the Medieval Turks.” Studia Islamica 4 (1955): 7790.
Wilson, James Q. Bureaucracy: What Government Agencies Do and Why They Do It. New York: Basic Books, 1989.
Yinanç, Barçın. “Gülenists ‘Abused’ Efforts to Enhance Democracy: Ruling AKP Official.” Hürriyet Daily News, July 17, 2017.
Yinanç, Barçın. “Ample Evidence to Prove that Gülenists Were behind Turkey’s Coup Attempt: Journalist Sedat Ergin.” Hürriyet Daily News, August 28, 2017.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

New Perspectives on Turkey
  • ISSN: 0896-6346
  • EISSN: 1305-3299
  • URL: /core/journals/new-perspectives-on-turkey
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed