The military in the material constitution of Turkey

Tarik Olcay (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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The concept of material constitution is helpful to understand how particular constitutional orders are created and how they operate. It invites observers to look beyond the formal constitution, showing the shortcomings of the exclusive focus on the formal constitution and offering tools to enquire the materiality that underpins it. Whilst the material study of a particular constitution may require a detailed and thorough research of the forces that condition a material constitutional order, it is possible to show the usefulness of the enquiry through selected aspects of a constitutional order. The aim of this chapter is to do that by explaining the military’s role in constitution-making in Turkey. Whilst the military is a defining constitutional actor in Turkey, the recognition of this in the formal constitution is very limited. This chapter argues that only through accounting for the constitutional role of the military can the materiality of the Turkish Constitution be grasped, and a more accurate description of the Turkish constitutional order be provided. Through an overview of its role in the making and re-making of the 1961 and 1982 Constitutions, the chapter introduces the military as an ordering force in the Turkish Constitution. It explains the military’s constituent and ongoing authority over the constitutional order and its role in guaranteeing the fundamental political objectives of the constitutional order.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCambridge Handbook on the Material Constitution
EditorsMarco Goldoni, Michael Wilkinson
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781316519462
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023

Publication series

NameCambridge Law Handbooks


  • material constitution
  • constitution-making
  • constitutional change
  • military
  • Turkey


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