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Prime Movers, Specific Features and Challenges of Security Sector Reform in a ?Guardian State?: The Case of Turkey

1 January, 2007



Table of Contents


I. Civil-Military Imbalance: The Primary Focus of Security Sector Reform in Turkey
The “Guardian” Model and Broad Definition of Security Impinging on Security Sector Reform

II. Approaches to Addressing Civil-Military Imbalance:Direct and Indirect Reforms
The Indirect Approach
The Direct Approach and Reducing the “Knowledge Asymmetry

III. Challenges to Security Sector Reform in Turkey
Building up Civilian Capacity
Rivalry between Security Sector Units
“Reinvention” of Conventional Security

IV. Reform in the Non-Military Security Sector
National Police Force
Coast Guard Command and Border Guards
Gendarmerie General Command

V. Conclusions


This paper aims to address the nature of security sector reform (SSR) in Turkey, the problems and challenges therein, and the impact of reform on the system.

The period it covers extends basically from the beginning of the new century, when the idea of reform gathered some force, to the end of 2005 when the political ideal of full membership in the EU was still seen as a realisable project, rather than a lost cause. The broader objective of this paper is to contribute to the conceptual understanding of SSR, which benefits from comparative case analyses, study of the socio-political roots of threats, security structures and power distribution within the sector in various contexts.