National Security Council (Turkey)

The National Security Council (Turkish: Milli Güvenlik Kurulu, MGK) is the principal government agency used by the President of Turkey (who is the Commander-in-chief) for consideration of national security, military, and foreign policy matters with senior national security officials, and for coordinating these policies among various government agencies. Like the national security councils of other countries, the MGK develops the national security policy.

National Security Council
Milli Güvenlik Kurulu
Emblem of the Presidency of Turkey.svg
Agency overview
FormedDecember 11, 1962 (1962-12-11)
Preceding agencies
  • Yüksek Müdafaa Meclisi (1933–1949)
  • Milli Savunma Yüksek Kurulu (1949–1962)
JurisdictionPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (chairman)
HeadquartersPresidential Complex
Annual budget₺ 34.8 million (2019)[1]
Agency executives
Parent agencySecretariat-General of the National Security Council
WebsiteNational Security Council Website

Coordinates: 39°54′32″N 32°45′33″E / 39.90889°N 32.75917°E / 39.90889; 32.75917

The policy is expressed in the National Security Policy Document (Turkish: Milli Güvenlik Siyaseti Belgesi), commonly known as "The Red Book".[2][3] The Red Book is sometimes called the "most secret" document in Turkey. It is updated once or twice a decade.[4]

National Security Council, Ankara

HistoryEdit

The creation of the MGK was an outcome of the 1960 military coup, and has been a part of the constitution since 1961. In this way the 1961 constitution created what the Turkish scholar Sakallioğlu labels "a double headed political system: the civilian council of ministers coexisted with the national security council on the executive level, and the military system of justice continued to operate independently alongside the civilian justice system."[5]

The role of the MGK was further strengthened with the 1982 constitution, adopted by the military junta in the aftermath of the 1980 military coup, before transferring power to civilian politicians. From then on its recommendations would be given priority consideration by the council of ministers. Furthermore, the number and weight of senior military commanders in MGK increased at the expense of its civilian members.[5] In 1992 then chief of general staff Gen. Doğan Güreş proclaimed self-confidently that "Turkey is a military state".[6]

The role of the military in Turkish politicsEdit

The MGK is widely perceived as the institutionalisation of the Turkish military's influence over politics. Since Mustafa Kemal Atatürk founded the modern secular republic of Turkey in 1923, the Turkish military has perceived itself as guardian of Kemalism, the official state ideology, even though Atatürk himself insisted separating the military from politics.[7]

Though the attitude of the military may have remained constant, the attitude of the successive civilian governments toward the military has fluctuated, according to Metin Heper: "In Turkey, for a long time, there have been two notable behavioral patterns on the part of civilian governments in their relations with the military: they have either tried to relegate the military to the sidelines or they have granted it too much autonomy." When the civilian government was successful in solving economic problems and internal disputes and "had the upper hand," sometimes as in the 1950s, the civilian government "tried to divest the military of all authority" and the government and military officers became "hostile adversaries."[8]

As a result of these fluctuations in the relationship, there have been two direct coups d’états in 1960 and 1980, the 1971 coup by memorandum, and what later has been labelled a "post modern coup", when Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan from the pro-Islamic Welfare Party stepped down after mounting pressure from the military in 1997.[9] Paradoxically, the military has both been an important force in Turkey's continuous Westernization but at the same time also represents an obstacle for Turkey's desire to join the EU[citation needed]. At the same time, the military enjoys a high degree of popular legitimacy, with continuous opinion polls suggesting that the military is the state institution that the Turkish people trust the most.[10]

Recent reformsEdit

In order to meet EU's political demands for starting membership negotiations, the Copenhagen criteria, Turkey has passed a number of reforms aiming at strengthening civilian control over the military. These reforms have mainly focused on the MGK, its duties, functioning and composition. On 23 July 2003 the Turkish Grand National Assembly passed the "seventh reform package", which aimed at limiting the role of the military, through reforms of the MGK. According to an editorial in the Financial Times the seventh reform package constitutes nothing less than a "quiet revolution".[11]

Firstly it is underlined that the MGK is a consultative body, now with a civilian majority. The 7th reform package made it possible to appoint a civilian Secretary General of the MGK, which happened for the first time in August 2004. The council has not anymore expanded executive and monitoring authorities, and has for instance not any more the authority on behalf of the president and the prime minister to follow up on the implementation of the MGK's ‘recommendations’. In addition, the MGK no longer has unlimited access to all civil institutions. The MGK no longer has a representative in the Supervision Board of Cinema, Video and Music. It was however still represented in civil institutions such as the High Board for Radio and TV (RTÜK) and the Commission for Higher Education (YÖK), but after critics in the 2003 European Commission report this representation was withdrawn from both institutions in 2004.[12]

Despite the impressive institutional changes, the 2004 European Commission report concludes that "Although the process of aligning civil-military relations with EU practice is underway, the Armed Forces in Turkey continue to exercise influence through a series of informal channels."[13] In the Commission report of the following year it was stated that: "Reforms concerning civil-military relations have continued, but the armed forces still exert significant influence by issuing public statements on political developments and government policies."[14]

Before the reforms, the MGK covertly influenced public opinion through its Public Relations Command (Turkish: Toplumla İlişkiler Başkanlığı). The department has been disbanded.[2]

Council membersEdit

Member Office
  Recep Tayyip Erdoğan President
  Fuat Oktay Vice President
  Abdulhamit Gül Minister of Justice
  Süleyman Soylu Minister of the Interior
  Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu Minister of Foreign Affairs
  Hulusi Akar Minister of National Defense
  General Yaşar Güler Chief of the General Staff
General Musa Avsever Commander of the Land Forces
  Admiral Adnan Özbal Commander of the Naval Forces
General Hasan Küçükakyüz Commander of the Air Force

List of Secretaries GeneralEdit

Rank Name From To
Major General Mehmet Tevfik Erdönmez 9 April 1938 28 August 1939
Lieutenant General Galip Türker 28 August 1939 13 June 1940
Lieutenant General M.Rasim Aktağun 13 June 1940 21 April 1941
Major General Hüseyin Avni Üler 1 April 1942 9 August 1942
Lieutenant General Mümtaz Aktay 18 March 1943 1 May 1945
Lieutenant General M.Rıfat Mataracı 3 May 1945 14 July 1945
Lieutenant General Muzaffer Ergüder 28 February 1946 10 April 1946
Lieutenant General Fuat Erdem 10 April 1946 14 July 1948
Lieutenant General Kurtcebe Noyan 27 September 1948 1 July 1949
Lieutenant General Yümnü Üresin 11 July 1949 28 April 1950
Lieutenant General Kurtcebe Noyan 25 May 1950 6 June 1950
General Mahmut Berköz 13 June 1950 6 September 1951
General İzzet Aksalur 4 October 1951 5 November 1952
Lieutenant General Nazmi Ataç 5 November 1952 29 September 1955
Major General Mehmet Enver Aka 24 January 1956 29 August 1956
General Selahattin Selışık 4 September 1956 31 August 1959
General Vedat Garan 10 September 1959 4 August 1960
Major General Celal Erikan 16 September 1960 28 November 1960
Colonel Mahmut Demircioğlu 29 November 1960 12 February 1961
Colonel Tarık Demiroğlu 13 February 1961 24 September 1961
Major General Nüzhet Akıncılar 25 September 1961 18 October 1961
Brigadier General M. Şevket Ozan 23 November 1961 14 August 1962
Lieutenant General Refet Ülgenalp 14 August 1962 11 July 1966
General Kemalaetin Gökakın 18 July 1966 30 August 1969
General Haydar Olcaynoyan 30 August 1969 30 August 1970
General (Air Force) Emin Alpkaya 28 August 1970 28 August 1972
General (Air Force) Nahit Özgür 28 August 1972 30 August 1975
General Namık Kemal Ersun 24 August 1975 1 January 1976
General Nurettin Ersin 5 January 1976 30 August 1977
General (Air Force) Tahsin Şahinkaya 5 September 1977 24 August 1978
Admiral (Navy) Arif Akdoğanlar 25 August 1978 8 August 1980
General (Air Force) Halil Sözer 18 August 1980 8 October 1980
Lieutenant General Talat Çetineli 8 October 1980 30 August 1981
General (Air Force) Halit Nusret Toroslu 24 August 1981 30 August 1985
Admiral (Navy) Orhan Karabulut 19 August 1985 20 August 1986
General Hüsnü Çelenkler 21 August 1986 30 August 1987
Admiral (Navy) İrfan Tınaz 26 August 1987 22 August 1988
General Sabri Yirmibeşoğlu 22 August 1988 30 August 1990
General Nezihi Çakar 21 August 1990 30 August 1992
General (Air Force) Ahmet Çörekçi 21 August 1992 9 August 1993
General Doğan Bayazıt 22 August 1993 17 August 1995
General (Air Force) İlhan Kılıç 17 August 1995 27 August 1997
General (Air Force) Ergin Celasin 27 August 1997 24 August 1999
General (Air Force) Cumhur Asparuk 27 August 1999 26 August 2001
General Tuncer Kılınç 26 August 2001 26 August 2003
General Şükrü Sarıışık 26 August 2003 16 August 2004
Ambassador

(First civilian)

Mehmet Yiğit Alpogan 1 October 2004 16 July 2007
Ambassador Tahsin Burcuoğlu 1 November 2007 25 January 2010
Ambassador Serdar Kılıç 5 February 2010 17 April 2012
Governor Muammer Türker 25 April 2012 25 September 2014
Governor Seyfullah Hacımüftüoğlu 26 September 2014 Incumbent

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Diyanet'in bütçesi artmaya devam ediyor". sozcu.
  2. ^ a b Mercan, Faruk (2006-08-14). "Kırmızı Kitap'ı uyguladık". Aksiyon (in Turkish). Feza Gazetecilik A.Ş. 610. Retrieved 2009-01-06.[dead link]
  3. ^ "Devletin milli güvenlik siyasetini içeren belgenin adı "Milli Siyaset Belgesi" veya "Milli Güvenlik Siyaset Belgesi" gibi değişik biçimlerde ifade edilmektedir. Belgenin resmi adı nedir?". Frequently Asked Questions (in Turkish). Milli Güvenlik Kurulu Genel Sekreterligi. 2007-10-05. Archived from the original on 2008-09-08. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
  4. ^ Ergin, Sedat (2004-11-24). "Milli Güvenlik Siyaset Belgesi değiştiriliyor". Hürriyet (in Turkish). Retrieved 2009-01-06.
  5. ^ a b Sakallioglu, Cizre. The Anatomy of the Turkish Military's Autonomy[permanent dead link], Comparative Politics, vol. 29, no. 2, 1997, pp. 157-158.
  6. ^ Özcan, Gencer, "The Military and the Making of Foreign Policy in Turkey", In: Kirişci, Kemal (red.) & Rubin, Barry (red.): Turkey in World Politics. An Emerging Multiregional Power, Lynne Rienner Publishers, London, 2001. pp. 16-20.
  7. ^ Momayezi, Nasser. "Civil-military relations in Turkey", International Journal on World Peace. New York: Sep 1998. Vol. 15, Iss. 3., p. 3.
  8. ^ Heper, Metin. "The Justice and Development Party government and the military in Turkey," Turkish Studies. Oxfordshire, United Kingdom: Summer 2005. Vol. 6, Iss. 2, p. 215. doi:10.1080/14683840500119544
  9. ^ Momayezi, Nasser: "Civil-military relations in Turkey", International Journal on World Peace. New York: Sep 1998. Vol. 15, Iss. 3., pp. 19-22.
  10. ^ Ersel Aydinli; Nihat Ali Özcan & Dogan Akyaz (January–February 2006). "The Turkish Military's March Toward Europe". Foreign Affairs. Archived from the original on 2009-01-06. Retrieved 2008-12-16.
  11. ^ "A quiet revolution: Less power for Turkey's army is a triumph for the EU", Financial Times (editorial), July 31, 2003.
  12. ^ European Commission: 2003 Regular Report on Turkey’s progress towards accession, November 5, 2003; European Commission: 2004 Regular Report on Turkey’s progress towards accession, October 6, 2004 Archived April 10, 2016, at the Wayback Machine and European Commission: Turkey 2005 Progress Report, Brussels, 9 November 2005.
  13. ^ European Commission: 2004 Regular Report on Turkey’s progress towards accession Archived April 10, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, October 6, 2004. P. 15.
  14. ^ European Commission: Turkey 2005 Progress Report Archived June 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Brussels, 9 November 2005, p. 41.

Further readingEdit

  • Kars Kaynar, Ayşegül. "Making of military tutelage in Turkey: the National Security Council in the 1961 and 1982 Constitutions." Turkish Studies 19.3 (2018): 451–481.
  • Kars Kaynar, Ayşegül. "Political Activism of the National Security Council in Turkey After the Reforms." Armed Forces & Society 43.3 (2017): 523–544.

External linksEdit