Military Rule and Democracy in Greece and Turkey

Dipsar, Fatma Yaprak Gursoy, Department of Politics, University of Virginia
Waldner, David, Department of Politics, University of Virginia

What were the causes of various types of regimes and their consolidation in Greece and Turkey? Why did the Greek and Turkish armed forces intervene in politics via short-lived coup d'etats and establish or support authoritarian regimes during various periods in their histories? Results from archival research and interviews with more than 110 Greek and Turkish businessmen, politicians, and military officers suggest that political regimes and military interventions in Greece and Turkey were determined by the power of the elites relative to the opposition and the degree of threat that the elites perceived to their interests. Consolidated authoritarian regimes (Turkey 1931-1946, Greece 1936-1941) occurred when the majority of political, economic, and military elites perceived high levels of threat to their interests from the lower classes. These elites formed alliances in support of the creation or sustaining of an authoritarian regime. Unconsoli -dated democracies with short - Iived military coup d '├ętats (Greece 1843-1936, Turkey 1950-1983) came about when the military, political, and economic elites were threatened by each other. Successful coups in unconsolidated democracies (Greece 1909, Turkey 1980) took place when the military initiated the coup in coalition with a section of the elites. Unsuccessful coup attempts (Greece 1933, 1935, Turkey 1962, 1963) occurred when the insurgents were not supported by the elites and the rest of the military. Unconsolidated authoritarian regimes (Greece 1967-1974, Turkey 1923-1930) differed from their consolidated counterparts by the level of support they garnered. In these authoritarian regimes, a faction of the military and/or the political elite perceived threats to their iv interests from the electorate and established a repressive regime. However, (other) political elites had pro - democratic regime preferences, and therefore, opposed authoritarianism. Similarly, a significant portion of the lower classes engaged in contentious action. Consolidated democracy in Greece after 1981 emerged when political, economic, and military elite groups did not perceive threats to their interests from the lower classes or from each other. Additionally, interventionist military cliques did not have sufficient power to repress the opposition and could not gain support within the anned forces and among other elite groups.

Note: Abstract extracted from PDF file via OCR

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: