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Military's role broadens in 'New Turkey'

Since taking his seat as Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has thrown himself into the role of commander-in-chief and drawn the armed forces closer into the political realm and manipulated security concerns to serve his agenda.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (C), flanked by Chief of Staff General Necdet Ozel (L) and Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz (R), leaves after a wreath-laying ceremony with members of the High Military Council at Anitkabir, the mausoleum of modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, ahead of a High Military Council meeting in Ankara August 4, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY ANNIVERSARY) - RTR415K3

Interesting developments are taking place in Turkey’s civilian-military relations since the election of Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the president in August 2014, when the new Justice and Development Party (AKP) government also revealed its "Vision for a New Turkey." Erdogan, according to the constitution, is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, a label the pro-government media likes to throw around these days. There is an abundance of references to the New Turkey's powerful army, national state and strong defense industry. Also attracting attention is the sudden ubiquity of news and commentary, particularly in the pro-government media, on how the military and the government operate in full harmony in dealing with the "parallel state" of the Fethullah Gulen movement, the solution process with the Kurds, the Syrian and Iraqi crises and other regional issues.

What led to this political-military understanding in Turkey? Did the government move closer to the military, or vice versa? Frequently cited reasons for this developing alliance include:

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