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Understanding Turkish Perception of Conscription and Reluctance to Reform: A Westphalian Approach in a Post-Westphalian World?

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image of Iran and the Caucasus

Many of the Western countries have radically changed their system of conscription in the recent decades. Turkey that enthusiastically takes the West as a model in many fields continues, however, to ignore developments in the Western military systems and sticks to its traditional understanding of military institutions. The present study seeks to examine the rationale behind Turkey’s conscription system and its reluctance to reform. Why is the Justice and Development Party (JDP) still stuck to the same conscription system that remained untouched in its fundamentals for 85 years? The basic argument of the article is that although the discourse in Turkish foreign policy changed considerably under the JDP, Turkish decision leadersstill have a security understanding dominated by the realist approach.


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