The term ‘dual state’ was coined by Ernst Fraenkel in 1941 to describe the duality of the state in which there co-existed a ‘regular’ legal state with a parallel ‘prerogative state’, an autocratic paramilitary emergency state or Machtstaat, that operated outside or ‘above’ the legal system”. Hans Morgenthau (1971) later described this as a structure in which the democratic state structure functions according to the law while a parallel hidden security structure exists whose purpose it is to monitor and control the former. In Turkey, this is popularly referred to as the ‘deep state’ (derin devlet).
In a dual state structure, the democratic state is interrupted (and undermined) when an existential threat is defined by the security state. In other words, at an ‘exceptional’ moment, the democratic process is sidelined by the military elite (with support from like-minded civilians).
While direct military interventions in the political process are incompatible with the EU’s demand for civilian control over the military in Turkey, a parallel and less visible state structure, more in line with Morgenthau’s conception of the U.S. ‘dual state’, would provide a means for the Turkish Armed Forces to maintain their influence, thus preserving the existing system of power. This seminar considers the implications of a ‘deep state’ in Turkey in light of recent evidence of its existence.
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